The Curse of Cobalt: The Exploitation Behind your Phone Battery

Vivienne Walt discusses the demand for cobalt and its impact on communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo in an interview on FRANCE 24 English.

Cobalt is a vital mineral needed for the production of rechargeable batteries. Two thirds of the world supply is located in southern Congo where men, women and children all work. Efforts are being made to stop child labor in the cobalt mines, but they have not been successful.

Batteries needed for phones, computers and electric cars have pushed the global demand for Cobalt through the roof. Chinese companies and middlemen have the strongest hold on the market. Tech companies like Apple, Microsoft and Tesla are trying to find a way to access Congolese cobalt in a more humane way with proper accountability.