As cobalt demand booms, companies must do more to protect Congolese miners

In this op-ed, Prof. Dorothee Baumann-Pauly and Serra Cremer Iyi point out that mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo is risky because of the prevalence of artisanal small-scale mining.

Artisanal mining is often carried out by hand, using basic equipment. It’s a largely informal and labor-intensive activity on which more than two million Congolese miners depend for income. And this mining method comes with major human rights risks such as child labor and dangerous working conditions.

The two researchers emphasize that processes and regulations must be standardized and widely adopted. Only when this happens will automotive and electronics companies be reassured that they are not contributing to human rights violations. And only then will they feel confident buying Congolese cobalt.

Authors: Dorothée Baumann-Pauly & Serra Cremer Iyi
Date: 25 November 2020
Publisher: The Conversation

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