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Democratic Republic of Congo

    September 29, 2017

    By Mark Dummett, Business and Human Rights Researcher

    The Scottish government recently announced plans to, by 2032, phase out petrol and diesel vehicles. By 2040, the only cars on United Kingdom roads will also be electric, and petrol stations will be replaced by car charging points. Meanwhile, in the United States, Elon Muskhas announced the launch of the Tesla Model 3, which he hopes will become the world’s first mass-market electric car.

    August 15, 2013

    By Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International

    I have just left Katanga in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where my colleague Lisa Tassi and I were following up on Amnesty International’s work on mining and human rights in the region.

    In some ways this is easy to do. Besides mining – mostly of copper and cobalt – precious little happens in southern Katanga. But two very different methods are employed to extract these minerals. Industrial mining, involving large multinational companies, is managed from air-conditioned offices and carried out with heavy equipment; small-scale artisanal mining is frequently done in sweltering heat by men (and in some cases boys under the age of 18) working with basic tools.

    Artisanal mining can be a desperate business. On top of suffering harsh work conditions, many creuseurs – meaning “diggers”, as the miners are known locally – are ruthlessly exploited by traders who buy from them along a largely opaque supply chain. In theory the state has some oversight of the system, but the reality is quite different.

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