Tech giants fingered for DRC ‘abuses’
Publish date: 13 January 2020
Issue Number: 855
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Human Rights
An international advocacy group has accused Apple, Google, Microsoft, Dell and Tesla of ‘knowingly benefiting from’ the use of young children to mine cobalt in the DRC. International Rights Advocates last week filed a federal class action against the five companies in Washington DC where the group is based. CNN reports that the complaint claims that the firms ‘are knowingly benefiting from and aiding and abetting the cruel and brutal use of young children’ to mine cobalt in extremely dangerous conditions. The defendants have known for a ‘significant period of time’ that Congo's mining sector ‘is dependent upon children,’ the complaint said, adding that cobalt mined in the region is listed as a good produced by child labour or forced labour by the US Department of Labour. ‘Further, the horrors of the plight of these children has been widely reported in the media,’ the complaint said, citing reports about the cobalt pipeline published by The Washington Post, The Guardian and others.