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

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.




source: AmnestyInternational via BBC

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65 Comments

1. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Shame On The Company That Manufactures The Batteries SMH.

25. aBoss

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 15, 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

37. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

43. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 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

49. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

52. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 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???

30. Zylam

Posts: 1822; Member since: Oct 20, 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.

31. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

With the emphasis on: The company says

32. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 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?

35. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Most Probably Didn't Have Chose.

50. nepalisherpa

Posts: 338; Member since: Jul 17, 2015

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

51. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 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

36. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Their Response Was Good So What?

53. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

You believe that propaganda? hahaha

40. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 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.

2. LDC207X

Posts: 28; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

Is this why my battery life sucks

24. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

That's Not Even Funny.

28. Macky

Posts: 19; Member since: Jan 02, 2016

You are just an ungrateful idiot

3. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

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

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 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 :-/

10. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 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

65. hypergreatthing

Posts: 44; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

Why should sammy or any battery manufacturer care at all?

18. 3rdDegree

Posts: 218; Member since: Jul 13, 2013

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

27. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

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

38. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 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.

41. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

You mad?

19. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

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

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31599; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

6. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 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.

11. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

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

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