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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: 3268; 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: 113; 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, 02:42 2

30. Zylam (Posts: 991; 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: 3256; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


With the emphasis on: The company says

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:05

32. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4187; 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: 3268; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Most Probably Didn't Have Chose.

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:52

36. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3268; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Their Response Was Good So What?

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 03:53

37. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3268; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


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

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 06:01 3

40. HugoBarraCyanogenmod (Posts: 1316; 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 19 Jan 2016, 07:48 4

43. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1236; 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: 3268; 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, 09:43

50. nepalisherpa (Posts: 219; 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: 5192; 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, 12:27

52. natypes (Posts: 1104; 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, 12:28

53. natypes (Posts: 1104; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


You believe that propaganda? hahaha

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: 3268; 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: 219; 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: 6306; 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: 6306; 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 19 Jan 2016, 00:12 3

18. 3rdDegree (Posts: 218; Member since: 13 Jul 2013)


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

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 00:20 1

19. itsjustJOH (Posts: 232; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


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

posted on 19 Jan 2016, 01:21 2

27. deanylev (Posts: 219; 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: 252; 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: 219; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


You mad?

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 18 Jan 2016, 21:51 3

4. darkkjedii (Posts: 23437; 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: 13089; 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: 6306; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


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

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