Do you have a cell phone, a laptop or a tablet? Or maybe your parents do?
Many electronic devices contain batteries. And the batteries contain cobalt. Cobalt is found under the earth’s surface so it has to be mined. Amnesty International is very concerned that cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is being mined by children.
At least half of the world’s cobalt comes from the DRC. Amnesty International researchers travelled there to talk to children and adults who work in the cobalt mines.
The researchers learned that children and adult miners dig out rocks from tunnels deep underground using basic tools. They have no equipment to protect them, such as gloves or facemasks, even though breathing cobalt dust for a long time can cause lung disease.