Join the Campaign against Child Labour in Cobalt Mines
BC teachers and students may be alarmed to learn that many of the companies whose electronic products teachers, students, and their families rely upon are using batteries made with cobalt mined by child labourers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Up to 40,000 children worked in mines in the DRC in 2014. An investigation by Amnesty International revealed that children as young as seven years old earn one to two dollars a day, working 12-hour shifts, without basic equipment to protect them from lung or skin disease.
BC teachers are encouraged to sign onto the Amnesty International campaign, which is calling upon companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Daimler, and Volkswagen to investigate and publicize the source of the lithium-ion batteries they use in their products. The campaign also demands that these companies cancel contracts with suppliers using cobalt mined under hazardous conditions or using child labour and provide compensation for families who have suffered human rights abuses in cobalt mines.
The Amnesty International webpage Exposed: Child labour behind smart phone and electric car batteries provides more information to support teachers in participating in this campaign.
For more information, see the article written by a member of the Peace and Global Education action group of the BCTF Committee for Action on Social Justice, on page 7 of the Winter/Spring edition of the Social Justice Newsletter.
Teachers are also invited to read the attached letter, written by Jim Iker, endorsing this campaign.
Assistant Director of Social Justice
BC Teachers’ Federation
100-550 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5S 4P2
Toll free: 1-800-663-9163