U.S. firms sued for death of children in DR Congo

Five U.S. tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet, have been named in a lawsuit over the death of child labourers in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Impoverished but mineral-rich DR Congo is the world’s largest producer of the rare metal, which is crucial for making batteries used in mobile phones and electric vehicles.

The case was lodged on Sunday in the name of 14 unidentified victims, who are members of the families of children killed in tunnel collapses, as well as children maimed as they worked.

It lists Apple, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla as defendants and was submitted by the International Rights Advocates campaign group to a Washington tribunal.

Child miners work for $2-3 a day “under stone age conditions for paltry wages and at immense personal risk”, it said.

BMW, BASF and Samsung announced a joint project to ensure “responsible” cobalt mining in DR Congo earlier this year.

The mining industry said wants to adopt standards of good governance to improve working conditions.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 8:21:05 AM |

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