STOP HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN COBALT MINING
In today’s world, our lives rely ever more on rechargeable batteries. These batteries power our mobile phones, tablets, laptop computers, cameras and other portable electronic devices. But do you know where the raw materials come from that go into rechargeable batteries and how those raw materials are extracted?
Cobalt is a key component in the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that power these portable electronic devices. Half of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS SEVEN
ARE WORKING LONG HOURS
IN HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS.
Last year Amnesty International’s investigation revealed how cobalt mined by children as young as seven and adults in hazardous conditions in the artisanal mining sector of the Democratic Republic of the Congo enters the supply chain of many of the world’s leading electronic brands.
Last year Amnesty supporters around the world sent letters to global electronics companies urging them to address human rights abuses in their supply chain. Some companies, such as Apple, heard our recommendations and are now taking concrete steps to investigate their cobalt supply chain. But other electronics giants have not – including Microsoft.
It is time Microsoft took some responsibility for the mining of materials that go into the company’s lucrative products.LEARN MORE:
Blog: What is Microsoft Hiding?
- Apr 23, 2018
Report: Industry giants fail to tackle child labour allegations in cobalt battery supply chains
- Nov 15, 2017
Press release: “This is what we die for”: Human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo power the global trade in cobalt
Action page: Is my phone powered by child labour
As a customer of Microsoft, it is important to me that my products do not contain batteries mined by child labourers or by adults working in hazardous conditions. Accordingly, I request that Microsoft publicly disclose on its website the following:
-Whether the cobalt in your company’s products has been mined by child labourers or adults working in hazardous conditions.
-If not, the steps your company has taken to verify this information.
-If yes, the steps your company has taken to address child labour or adults working in hazardous conditions in your supply chain (e.g. collaboration with governments, suppliers …).
-Provide the names of cobalt smelters/refiners in your company’s supply chain (including identification of where the cobalt was sourced), as well as their due diligence policies and practices.
This is too big an issue to ignore. Your immediate action is urgently required.