Lithium-ion batteries made from cobalt, which is obtained in very dangerous conditions. Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft, Tesla is accused of inaction
The largest tech giants on the planet have become defendants in the case of the death of children in the mines of the Congo. This is a collective lawsuit against 14 children and their parents, who accused Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft, Tesla assistance and support for child exploitation in the extraction of cobalt, writes The Guardian.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo holds about 60% of the world’s supply of cobalt. This metal is a necessary element for creating lithium-ion batteries that are used in all modern gadgets: smartphones, laptops, electric vehicles and others.
The lawsuit was filed by the lawyers of the organization for the protection of human rights International Rights Advocates. They say that Congolese children were killed in the mines, extracting the cobalt. Victims want to receive compensation for forced labor, unjust enrichment, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft, Tesla, first encountered such legal allegations. The plaintiffs claim that their children are illegally employed in mines from the British company Glencore. The latter was sold to the Brussels trader Umicore, which tech giants have purchased the cobalt. Also, the plaintiffs say worked at the mine, owned by Chinese company Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt.
Working in the mines children received $2 per day for the extraction of cobalt-containing ores in dark underground tunnels. Others receive $0.75 per day carrying heavy sacks of ore.
To apply for this job children makes poverty. For example, one of the plaintiffs says that his niece was forced to go into the mine after her family could not pay $6 a month for school.
Human rights activists say that Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft, Tesla knew about the origin and production conditions used in their products of cobalt. The use of children and the neglect of working conditions allowed technocumbia to obtain a significant financial advantage.
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