Horrifying video has surfaced after an undercover investigation revealed young children are being forced to work in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Thousands inside the war ravaged African nation are being exploited because of the cobalt mine industry, a trade that is financed by the United States and China’s consumption of smart phones and electronic cars.
Both smart phones and electronic cars happen to be made out of cobalt along with other man made materials. And as the consumption of both continue to grow at a rapid pace, roughly 20 percent annually to be exact, so does the need for more labor.
In the last couple of years, weariness over the high consumption of natural occurring minerals has been making headlines however the personal stories of children associated with the tragic mining industry haven’t until recently.
The SkyNews investigative report released at the end of February of this year states that an undisclosed population of children are working in “tough” conditions within the mines and are frequently requested to go down “hand-dug shafts” without proper protection like shoes or helmets.
A huge problem for them because these “shafts” “frequently collapse.”
The report continues to explain that children as young as four years of age have reportedly been exploited in the cobalt mining industry and some are regularly threatened with beatings if their work is not considered acceptable.
Even worse, most of the children only walk away with the equivalent of less than one American dollar for all of the back breaking abuse. The haunting tales shared by children like 8-year-old Dorsen will break anyones heart.
Dorsen works daily in the cobalt mine and the young man said that everyday when he wakes up, he feels “terrible” because “everything hurts.”
Half of the world’s cobalt supply is in the DRC and many families with little options and several mouths to feed send their kids to the town outskirts to do hard labor to make money.
The United States of Labor, Bureau of International Affairs has researched the harsh conditions and abuse that runs rampant across the country and said in their 2015 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor that In 2015, “the Democratic Republic of the Congo made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor” by implementing a global action plan focused on the protection of children.
However the report went on to say, that at this time, “children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in the mining of gold, cassiterite (tin ore), coltan (tantalum ore), and wolframite (tungsten ore)…”
To help these children consider donating to “Abolishing Slavery” campaigns like A21, a non-profit started by Evangelist preacher Christine Cain.