Apple, Samsung and Sony face child labour issues
Apple, Samsung and Sony, among others are accused by Human rights organisation for failing to do basic checks to ensure minerals used in their products are not mined by children.It is found that children are involved in ‘Cobalt’ mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Cobalt is a vital component in Lithium- ion batteries which are used by smartphones.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo produces 50 percent of the world’s Cobalt. Miners working in this area are facing long term health issues. It is claimed that children are forced to work in the mines for a shift of 18 to 24 hours which is against labor rules.
Paul, a 14 year old child informed that he is working in the mines since 2 years, also he wants to study, but his father forced him to work. He also said that he goes by morning and has a shift up to next morning where he has to work 24 hours continuously and then take a break.
Apple’s Response :
Apple never tolerates underage labor in our supply chain, we conduct rigorous audits on it’s supply chain and supplier hiring underage workers. We are currently evaluating materials including cobalt, in order to identify labor and environmental risks as well as opportunities for apple to bring about effective, scalable and sustainable change.
Samsung’s Response :
We have ‘zero tolerance policy’ regarding child labor, we conduct audits on a regular basis, if a supplier violates this policy immediately we terminate them.
We are working with supplier chain to address issues related to human rights and labor laws while procuring minerals and other raw materials.
Millions of people enjoy the technology daily, but rarely know how they were made. Child labor is a major issue in many parts of the world. Companies with global profits more than $125billion cannot confidently say that they are perfect in checking their supply chain where key materials come from.