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Report: Apple, Samsung and Sony buy batteries from suppliers that employ children

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Report: Apple, Samsung and Sony buy batteries from suppliers that employ children
The battery inside your Apple iPhone could have been manufactured with the help of children as young as seven years-old. That's according to a report published today by Amnesty International. The report says that cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by children is being used in batteries produced for tech giants like Apple, Samsung and Sony. UNICEF estimates that 40,000 children are working in mines located in the DRC.

Amnesty's report says cobalt mined in certain areas in the DRC where child labor is common, ends up processed and then purchased by battery component manufacturers in China and South Korea. Battery manufacturers end up including the parts in the batteries that are sold to the previously mentioned tech giants.

For its part, Apple made a statement to the BBC which stated that "Underage labor is never tolerated in our supply chain and we are proud to have led the industry in pioneering new safeguards." The company says that if one of its suppliers is caught using underage labor, it forces the supplier to fund the underage worker's trip back home. Apple adds that it then demands that the supplier pay for the underage worker's education, continues to pay the wages he/she was receiving, and promises the child a job when he or she reaches the legal working age.

Samsung said that it has a "zero tolerance policy" when it comes to child labor, and routinely checks its supply chain. "If a violation of child labor is found, contracts with suppliers who use child labor will be immediately terminated," Samsung said in a statement. Sony also released a statement which said that it is working with suppliers to address human rights and labor issues.

Amnesty International spoke with 87 current and former cobalt miners. 17 of them were children, including Paul. A 14-year old orphan, Paul said he spent 24-hours working in the tunnels, arriving in the morning and leaving the morning of the next day, "I had to relieve myself down in the tunnels … My foster mother planned to send me to school, but my foster father was against it, he exploited me by making me work in the mine."

50% of the world's cobalt is mined from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The material is used in the Lithium-ion batteries found inside most mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.

"Millions of people enjoy the benefits of new technologies but rarely ask how they are made. It is high time the big brands took some responsibility for the mining of the raw materials that make their lucrative products...Companies whose global profits total $125bn (£86.7bn) cannot credibly claim that they are unable to check where key minerals in their productions come from."-Mark Dummett, business and human rights researcher, Amnesty International



source: AmnestyInternational via BBC

65 Comments
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posted on 18 Jan 2016, 21:15 11

1. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1945; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Shame On The Company That Manufactures The Batteries SMH.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 01:01 7

25. aBoss (Posts: 91; Member since: 15 Sep 2014)


Shame on the people who buy new phones every year and waste resources.

RIP the kids who jumped off the apple building that made apple put suicide nets to "fix" the problem

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:53

37. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1945; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


I Buy A New Phone Every Year. How Am I Wasting Resources?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 07:48 4

43. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1235; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


By encouraging them to produce more devices. Technology is quintessential but honestly do we need a new phone every year or in some cases even six months???

What can the Note 5 do in terms of practical performance that my Note 3 or a Note 4 can't? - Nothing! Chinese phones cost half as much and are just as good

Most of the people upgrade due to cosmetic concerns and this forces manufacturers to adopt 2 filthy strategies:

1. Push out more handsets irrespective of their need for the consumer
2. In case of Android - dubious software upgrade strategies to develop more diversified product lines and sell more wasteful devices

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 09:17

49. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1945; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


First of all the only thing encouraging companies to produce more devices is $$$$.

In practical terms (calling,texting,email) the note 3 can do what the note 5 can. Unfortunately I don't just use my phone for practical reasons, I play a couple of intense smartphone games and I greatly appreciate the performance boost year over year, for that reason alone. The note 3 just wouldn't get it done for me or the note 4 either, hell the S6 still has some problems playing the games I like.

3 reasons to buy a phone every year. Performance boost for gaming, improved camera, longer battery life.

The only chinese companies producing worthy phones are Huawei,Meizu and Xiaomi. And their best phones aren't half the price as mainstream devices especially Huawei and Meizu.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 12:27

52. natypes (Posts: 1051; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


lol why are you even here? I've bought myself 2 new phones this year alone, umad?

And if the Note 6 entices me guess what I'm going to do???

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 02:42 2

30. Zylam (Posts: 649; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


But look at apples response:

The company says that if one of its suppliers is caught using underage labor, it forces the supplier to fund the underage worker's trip back home. Apple adds that it then demands that the supplier pay for the underage worker's education, continues to pay the wages he/she was receiving, and promises the child a job when he or she reaches the legal working age.

OK now that is incredible, fanboi wars aside, this is how the tech titans should punish suppliers of such a thing is found to happen. Samsung, Sony and the rest should follow suit.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:04 2

31. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 2649; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


With the emphasis on: The company says

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:05

32. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3606; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


I'm more concerned with the parents who sent the kids to labour work. They might need money but shouldn't they be the one out to earn instead of pushing the kids?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:51

35. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1945; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Most Probably Didn't Have Chose.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 09:43

50. nepalisherpa (Posts: 208; Member since: 17 Jul 2015)


In many cases, it takes all family members to work in order to put food on table.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 11:45

51. elitewolverine (Posts: 5018; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Only in modern times has there ever been a push to protect child and teens. They are just doing what has been done for thousands of years....welcome to history

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:52

36. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1945; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Their Response Was Good So What?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 12:28

53. natypes (Posts: 1051; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


You believe that propaganda? hahaha

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 06:01 3

40. HugoBarraCyanogenmod (Posts: 984; Member since: 06 Jul 2014)


typical first world problem, if nobody encourage to hire children, who's gonna feed them?

They're asking for help, nobody care, then they want the jobs, nobody allowed. might as well suicide, or join terrorist.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 21:25 11

2. LDC207X (Posts: 27; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)


Is this why my battery life sucks

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 00:53 4

24. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1945; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


That's Not Even Funny.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 01:26 4

28. Macky (banned) (Posts: 19; Member since: 02 Jan 2016)


You are just an ungrateful idiot

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 21:42 7

3. deanylev (Posts: 195; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


Sony and Samsung make their own batteries, so not sure how true this is.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 22:23 8

8. ibend (Posts: 3205; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


another clickbait title, as usual...

its not about the battery supplier, but about cobalt supplier for that battery manufacturer..
and of course those child never work for samsung, sony, apple or their battery manufacturer :-/

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 22:32

10. ibend (Posts: 3205; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


and if those supply chain pict is correct, samsung only need to make sure that their "battery component" supplier didnt have underage worker to keep their policy...
and of course they didnt need to check the every single material of battery component supplier of their battery component suppliers

posted on 21 Jan 2016, 14:31

65. hypergreatthing (Posts: 43; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


Why should sammy or any battery manufacturer care at all?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 00:12 3

18. 3rdDegree (Posts: 213; Member since: 13 Jul 2013)


Do they mine the cobalt themselves? No. So stfu.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 01:21 2

27. deanylev (Posts: 195; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


Someone is mad... I was talking about the title, so you STFU

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 04:03 1

38. greyarea (Posts: 166; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


No, you were talking about the article. You weren't commenting on grammar or phrasing of the title, you said what's presented inside the article might be false. Someone is avoid responding to the post.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 06:33 1

41. deanylev (Posts: 195; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


You mad?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 00:20 1

19. itsjustJOH (Posts: 231; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


Well they sure as hell don't mine what they use to make those batteries.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 21:51 3

4. darkkjedii (Posts: 19477; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


SamFanTrolls are gonna be pissed. Hexa-core and Tecie are crying crocodile tears right now.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 21:57 4

6. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7921; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Really? The US chose to make laws against using child labor and forcing people to work more than a certain amount of hours per dsy.

We are a civilized country. Other countries are not.
Niles are made in sweatshops and so are many of clothes made by Tommy Hilfiger, Polo and others.

I'm fact many products we buy are made with child labor because those countries don't have as again such. Even if they dl, no one is stopping them.

Every electronic device and pice eof clothing sent to the US potentially has something made by a child.

My answer to that is, so what.

It's not my problem. I can just not buy products because it was made by a child. I stop buying Jordan's for that reason for years, but most products we buy are made by kids.

If we banned ever product we buy because potentially a child made it, all we would have is cars and planes.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 22:37

11. ibend (Posts: 3205; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


nope, cars and planes also contain cobalt inside them, and its possibly mined by child (source: article above, lol)

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 22:56 1

14. greyarea (Posts: 166; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


Getting overwhelmed by caring is not uncommon and the number 1 leading cause of apathy and trump supporters. You can see the symptoms already in phrases such as "So what" and "It's not my problem".
The problem is there's not much of a reward for giving a s--t. Worse you just come off as jaded or hipster to all those still enjoying not caring about anything past maybe brand name. So unless it's natural or like bill gates, you marry into it, it's not something easy to take on.

Good for you for at least trying by passing on those silly shoes. Nike is indeed considered a kind of godfather of sweatshop labor and inflated pricing.

The trick is caring a little bit at a time. Find a balance between boycotting all the things and 'so what'. If you know you need something new ahead of time, see how many minutes you feel comfortable caring about where it came from, and if there's a better alternative. Stop before you start hating caring too much to do it again. Repeat.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 13:20

55. elitewolverine (Posts: 5018; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


You could never know fully unless you source and supply all your own goods....I will wait till someone actually does it, this includes their own cell phone.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 23:10

15. ullokey (Posts: 37; Member since: 28 Jul 2015)


Civilized country? :D

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 06:56 1

42. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


@darkkjedii

It's Techie, not Tecie.

Was that another way of Einstein?

You're thee pissed one.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 21:52 3

5. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7921; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


So what? We don't get to scrutinize a country that isn't ours. They don't have laws against such, the US does. That is why companies here us them over there.

We've known this for decades. So what?

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 22:22 2

7. greyarea (Posts: 166; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


We absolutely get to scrutinize a country that isn't ours, as they do us. Amnesty International, AfreWatch, BBC also all get to scrutinize them.

What's stated in this report is not something "we've" know for decades. Not all shady activity is equal. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by " That is why companies here us them over there" but cobalt mines aren't common ins the states.

posted on 20 Jan 2016, 09:32

62. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7921; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


You can do what you want, what good is it going to do?

I'm not saying we shouldnt be aware. But there is nothing we can do to prevent a corporation from using the services offered by another country.

It is up to our Governement to crack down or the Government of the country in question.

You can bouycott them by not buying their products.

but liek I said, if you remove every product that potentially could have been made using child labor, you will lose basically every import to the USA, and since we don't mike anything here anymore, what you going to do then?

It is not a 1st world problem, it's a third world problem.
I am not here to police something I can't control.

Like I did say, I have chosen not to buy certain types of articles due to knowing illegal means were used to provide them. It is one of the reasons I don't buy Jordan's, why I don't buy Apple products, why I dont buy Hifiger, Polo and many other fancy brands oc items where I know cheap labor is used and they send the stuff here an try to charge ridiculous prices for it.

Paris Hilton sister Nickolai (Nikki Hilton) said it best, just because I can afford to pay $500 for a pair of jeans, doesn't me I should or will. There is no benefit to most products simply because they cost more and questioning how they came ot be.

But you cant boycott every product so why worry about it?

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 22:27 3

9. ibend (Posts: 3205; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


why stop at "Apple, Samsung, and Sony"? what about LG, huawei, ZTE and others? :-/

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 02:32 5

29. mixedfish (Posts: 1144; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


Phonearena know their audience.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 08:30

45. SonyPS4 (Posts: 344; Member since: 21 May 2013)


They choose 3 most popular brand

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 22:41

12. Unordinary (Posts: 1020; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Shocker

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 22:46

13. sissy246 (Posts: 547; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


This is always going to go on. We can do nothing about it so why point the finger at anyone.
It is a sad thing going on. These companies could pay more for the cobalt but that doesn't mean the mining companies will pay the kids more.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 23:45

16. htcisthebest (Posts: 135; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)


Not surprised at all. Typical crakpple business. Not to mention the Foxconn sweatshop workers in China who jumped off the work buildings to commit suicide 2 years ago due to extreme stress in assembling the iphone.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 23:58 1

17. Manyci (Posts: 110; Member since: 03 Aug 2015)


It's sad to hear and when I read the comments above, everyone has something right in their commment.

BUT, although, you may say it's not acceptable to use children labor because of several reasons, why don't you think about it from a little different angle? Just a bit. What if these children die if they don't get that very little wage from the cobalt miners? What if they can buy the neccessary things (like food/water/etc) only this way. Because they live in a poor country and/or they are orphans (like the article mentioned). Then I would say, 'maybe' they must be thankful for working 24 hours, because otherwise they die.

I'm not saying that having children work is good even with this (above) in mind. But maybe there really isn't any other way for them.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 00:29

21. 8logic (Posts: 148; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


Agree! it might not be a western idea of "good", but I am sure its better than starving! at least they have a opportunity to make money to hopefully improve their life. if you ban them, what will the kids do? they probably fall into the sex slave market.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 13:22

56. elitewolverine (Posts: 5018; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


We seem to forget that it is in areas where if children didn't work here, they would be working in a family/farm type setting. It is why farmers can get away with family/child labor laws. It is a PART of their life.

So how is this any different? I agree with what you said.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 00:22

20. pureviewuser (Posts: 477; Member since: 11 Nov 2012)


Whichever company knowingly use products which have child labour deserve to go bankrupt WHICHEVER COMPANY!!!!!

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 13:22

57. elitewolverine (Posts: 5018; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


So you don't like eating food do you?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 00:34

22. 8logic (Posts: 148; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


it might not be a western idea of "good", employment is not "evil". I am sure its better than starving or cultivating s**tty land! at least they have a opportunity to make money to hopefully improve their life. if you ban them, what will the kids do? they'll probably fall into the sex slave market.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 00:37

23. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


I have seen a kid in malaysia selling flowers and small toys because he and his family doesnt have much income to feed him... what about this type of kids? they have no choice except to work OR they will resort to begging... begging will do them more harm than working

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 13:23

58. elitewolverine (Posts: 5018; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Indeed

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 01:04

26. Modest_Moze (Posts: 112; Member since: 23 Mar 2015)


No biggy, still people will buy phones.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:12 2

33. xondk (Posts: 1141; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


yeah, would be interesting to see, if there was an actual video or such in the store, showing product creation from beginning to end, including all this information, if it would affect people, in general, at all.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:46

34. hakn5897 (Posts: 20; Member since: 19 Dec 2015)


you know what? that children live with that.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 05:15

39. Ilikkaman (banned) (Posts: 39; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


Batteries and children and iphonearena..cool.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 09:04

47. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


But it's still is news, like any other article, isn't it?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 07:55

44. Chuck007 (Posts: 1014; Member since: 02 Mar 2014)


That's the capitalistic world for ya. Manipulate the poor and stand on the moral high ground and point fingers pretending you have nothing to do with it.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 13:24

59. elitewolverine (Posts: 5018; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


please children have been used for labor for thousands of years, only recently have we thought it a good idea to pull them from the workforce. And put them into a room, forcing them into 8hr learning shifts, with no pay, then expect them 16+yrs later to work for money, and then expect them to be the next manager.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 09:03 1

46. mrochester (Posts: 521; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


I'm glad that Apple actually have an active policy on these things. What is Samsung and Sony's policy? I don't recall seeing much, if anything, about their corporate responsibility charters.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 09:10 1

48. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


Samsung and Sony got even better moral and business practices than Apple.

That alone is worth way more than written policies.

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