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Why they accuse Apple, Google, Tesla and other technology companies of contributing to child slavery


The artisanal miner is common in the DR of Congo, since people do it as a means to make a living

Manzana
        
 ,
        
Google
        
 ,
Tesla or
        
Microsoft
        
 They are among the names of a lawsuit filed in the United States that accuses them of "knowing" that the
Cobalt used in its products could be related to child exploitation.

The case has been presented by the organization
International Rights Advocates on behalf of 14 Congolese families.

The plaintiffs request compensation for the deaths and injuries of children in the cobalt mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to the association, the deaths occurred in the extraction tunnels or by the collapse of the walls of the mines.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo produces 60% of the world's cobalt supply.

However, the extraction has been for years in the spotlight of the international community that sees the process plagued by irregularities, human rights abuse, illegal mining and corruption.

UNICEF estimates that there are approximately 40,000 children working in
mines in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

International Rights Advocates argues that companies failed to regulate their supply chains and instead benefited from exploitation.

Essential mineral


Lithium battery manufacturers use 45% of global cobalt productionLithium battery manufacturers use 45% of the world's cobalt production

The mineral is a key component of the
lithium ion batteries that power electronic devices, such as
        
computers
        
 or
        
smartphones
        
 , and
        
electric cars
        
 .

It can also be found in aircraft engines, rockets, nuclear power plants, turbines, cutting tools, even artificial hip braces.

It is an essential mineral of modern life.

Combining it with other metals produces alloys that are extremely resistant and stable under extreme temperatures or against corrosive elements.

From 2016 to 2018, the price of cobalt soared from around US $ 26,000 per ton to more than US $ 90,000, although in 2019 prices have fallen sharply.