On 25 August, a feature from Sayari saying that international mining conglomerates could be supplying cobalt mined by child laborers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to leading technology companies and automotive manufacturers, according to public records and open-source information.
It concludes that cobalt mined by child laborers in the DRC can easily fall into the hands of leading consumer brands without their awareness or consent. Companies conducting business with leading cobalt suppliers like Glencore and Huayou Cobalt should be aware of this supply chain risk and conduct thorough due diligence on all parent companies, holdings, and associates with regularity.
In response, perhaps –
BUSINESSES LAUNCH JOINT BID TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR THOSE IN COBALT SUPPLY CHAINS
On 26 August, EurActiv reported that a coalition of businesses including Signify, Glencore and Fairphone have launched a joint initiative to improve the economic, working and social conditions of those working in the cobalt supply chain. Despite existing high demand, research suggests that the global demand for cobalt could increase more than 47-fold by 2030, against a 2018 baseline. Almost two-thirds of the world’s cobalt is currently sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo and, as such, is classed as a conflict material. Moreover, researchers estimate that more than 13,000 children are forced to work in the cobalt sector in the DRC, and have repeatedly pointed to unsafe working conditions and illegally low rates of pay.