iPhone Battery Replacement Of Policies
iPhone Battery Replacement Of Sourcing Policies Needed:
Apple, Samsung and Sony implicated in child labour by Amensty International
Amnesty International has investigated the sourcing of major tech producers and the results are not at all good.
Amnesty International and African Resources Watch (Afrewatch) have found that the three global companies seem to have been sourcing materials from the products of child labour.
Specifically, the campaign groups claim that each of the tech company’s supply of cobalt is produced through child labour. This may or may not be unknown to the companies. Nonetheless they are being accused of oversight and negligence in regards to their cobalt sourcing from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cobalt is essential to many of the best selling products of these three tech giants. Specifically it is used for the rechargeable batteries that make up laptops and smartphones, as well as electric cars.
In regards to their findings, Afrewatch executive director Emmanuel Umpula said: “’It is a major paradox of the digital era that some of the world’s richest, most innovative companies are able to market incredibly sophisticated devices without being required to show where they source raw materials for their components.”
In response to the allegations of severe oversight and misconduct, Apple said it had a “zero tolerance policy towards child labour and was evaluating ways to improve its identification of labour and environmental risks.”
iPhone battery replacement of sourcing needed: Amnesty’s diagram of battery material sourcing of Apple, Samsung and Sony.
Children as young as seven were found to be working at the cobalt mines, in conditions which were hazardous and potentially life threatening. The child workers told the researchers that they worked for up to 12 hours a day for as little as $1 or $2 a day. Child labourers were found to be mining the cobalt without any form of protective equipment, exposing them to high risks of lung or skin disease.
When contacted in regards to the allegations made against them, Samsung told Amnesty that it was “very hard to trace the source of the cobalt due to non-disclosure by suppliers and the complexity of supply chains.”
Human rights and business researcher at Amnesty Mark Dummett disagrees. “The dangers to health and safety make mining one of the worst forms of child labour. Companies whose global profits total $125 billion cannot credibly claim that they are unable to check where key minerals in their productions come from,” says Dummett. “Mining the basic materials that power an electric car or a smartphone should be a source of prosperity for miners in DRC. The reality is that it is a back-breaking life of misery for almost no money. Big brands have the power to change this.”
iPhone battery replacement of sourcing demanded by Amnesty: Diagram above showing battery material sourcing of Apple, Samsung and Sony from child labour mines.
While the sourcing of cobalt from child labour may have been unintentional on the part of Apple, Samsung, and Sony, what will determine the outcome of the findings will be how they proceed with material sourcing policies from now on.
As Amnesty representative Dummet and Afrewatch director Umpula point out, if the richest tech companies in the world do not actively ensure their resources come from legal and ethical supply chains, who will?
The wealthiest companies in the world should be the ones researching, promoting and maintaining ethical methods of production, as well as environmentally sustainable material sourcing.
As world leaders in their field, this should be their responsibility. Their products have made them incredibly wealthy, and it should be a moral and legal obligation for such companies to ensure their materials are sourced ethically.
Amnesty International will no doubt continue to investigate the matter and work hard to ensure ethical and legal forms of production are maintained.