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Get Ready to Campaign for an Ethical Battery!

Posted in: Activism Guide, Canada
    Sunday, September 27, 2020 - 16:54

    Amnesty International’s Ethical Battery Project aims to end human rights violations in the production of rechargeable batteries.

    It may surprise you to know that lithium-ion batteries – the kind found in many electronics such as laptops, cell phones and electric cars – contribute to human rights abuses around the world. Over the last few years, Amnesty’s researchers have documented child labour, environmental harms and violations of the rights of Indigenous peoples in the countries where battery minerals are mined. We have challenged the world's leading electronics and automobile makers to develop a battery untainted by human rights abuses.

    We invite you to join our campaign for an ‘ethical’ rechargeable battery.

    In October together with Greenpeace International, Amnesty will launch 16 Principles for a Greener and More Ethical Battery. To help our activists and members get involved, Amnesty Canada will launch an exciting new education series that will include social media nano-learnings, a video, a made-in-Canada comic book by Ad Astra Comix and a resource guide.

    This fall, Amnesty will also launch our long-anticipated findings on lithium mining and the rights of Indigenous peoples in Argentina. Lithium is mined from the briny waters of salt flats such as the Salinas Grandes and Lake Guayatayoc. The report outlines the rights at stake and steps the Argentine government must take to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples living in one of the world’s most unique and delicate ecosystems.

    Visit our Business and Human Rights webpage for background information, reports and campaign materials. Check back regularly as we will be updating the page frequently over the coming year with new materials. 

    If you’re interested in joining forces with other like-minded Amnesty activists, please join our new National Climate Justice and Corporate Accountability team by sending an email to: edumitru@amnesty.ca. Ask Elena to add you to the Ethical Batteries Project action list.

    To join our ongoing actions and activities to combat the climate crisis, please visit our Climate Justice webpage.

    Background:

    A cornerstone of Amnesty’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis is to end our dependency on fossil fuels and campaign for a global transition to renewable energy. In order for this transition to be fair and accessible to everyone, governments must urgently and substantially invest in a just transition as if our lives depended on it. Amnesty believes that human rights must be at the centre of climate justice and a just transition.

    Thanks to the tireless work of climate scientists, grassroots activists, and respected youth leaders like Autumn Pelletier and Greta Thunberg (to name but a few), people are making important personal changes to reduce their carbon footprint, such as driving less, riding their bikes, using public transit, car-pooling and purchasing electric cars and bicycles. They are also taking to the streets in their communities to call on politicians to respond to the climate crisis with the urgency it merits. At the same time, people are recognizing that the climate crisis affects us all, but differently, and that movements for a just transition need to be grounded in the recognition of systemic racism and a commitment to be anti-racist in our activism, equity, human rights respect and dignity. All of these efforts contribute towards the kinds of system changes we need to confront the climate crisis and build a better, more just world.

    Read our reports

    Time to Recharge: Corporate action and inaction to tackle abuses in the cobalt supply chain (2017)

    This is What we Die For: Human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo power the global trade in cobalt (2016)