January 25, 2019

Child Labour in the Cobalt Industry

by: Z Dawg

Do you know the pain that children as young as the age of 4 go through to get the battery for your phone, computer and even your electric car? Well, kids are forced to mine cobalt and have to dig in muddy trenches and carry heavy bags of it to rivers to wash it off. The youth have to sit around picking out the rocks from deep holes and breathing in toxic red dust that burns their eyes. This can also cause skin diseases and deadly lung conditions. Some unlucky kids will even get buried alive when the mines cave in.

It’s unimaginable to think that these children have to work in about 24.6℃ and an average of 1686 mm of rain in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each day they have to work for about 12 long hours and the mining process goes on all year round. Unfotunally, the children only get paid about 2.00$ a day-which is not much for us-, but most of the time it’s about half of that.

Kids mine cobalt to be shipped off and turned into the batteries for our electronic devices. They go into dangerous, deep caves and dig around in the walls with their bare hands to try to find this chemical element. Then, their masters sell it to people who don’t mind that it was made by children. The people who buy the cobalt sell it to big companies that need it, and tell them that there was no child labor involved. Therefor, that is how we get child labor cobalt in our televisions, phones, computers, cars, etc.

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