‘Towards the urgent elimination of hazardous child labour’, International Labour Organisation

Report description:

This report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) builds upon a previous report from the ILO published in 2011 called ‘Children in hazardous work: What we know, what we need to do (ILO-IPEC, 2011)’. This new report is said to  be based on new evidence ‘aiding better understanding of why this worst form of child labour persists and uncovering new interventions that might have more chance of eliminating it’. It was estimated by the ILO in 2017 that there were 152 million children in child labour and that almost 73 million of these were engaged in hazardous work.

Read the report here: https://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_30315/lang–en/index.htm?mc_cid=01c926b680&mc_eid=4743844cbe

‘What’s in your mobile phone?’ from The Signal Team

Podcast description:

Cobalt is used to stabilise batteries, making them safer, and is used in so many of our everyday items including our phones. Most cobalt comes from unregulated mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that are staffed partly by children, from 4 to 5 years old. In 2014 UNICEF estimated there were 40,000 children working in cobalt mines in the south of the DRC, and this has thought to have since increased as demand for cobalt has soared and also doubled in value in the last year alone. Everyone that is engaged in the mining of cobalt is exposed to serious health risks, from the people in the mines to the people above ground cleaning and sorting the cobalt. It’s toxicity causes respiratory problems and even fatal lung disease, and in the mines it has been reported that the loss of limbs is not uncommon as well as tunnels collapsing, trapping people who are left to die. A survivor on the episode said that when somebody gets injured nobody is allowed to help them. Staff are working from the early hours of the morning without any food or water.

It is suggested that we call the companies we buy our household items from and find out from where they source their Cobalt.

Listen to this podcast here