Amnesty is concerned about the strong possibility that there is child labour in Microsoft’s supply chain. Amnesty researchers have discovered that cobalt, a metal used in the rechargeable batteries of portable electronics such as laptops, tablets and cell phones, is being mined by children and adults under hazardous conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Amnesty researchers traced the cobalt supply chain and determined that the cobalt is very likely used in batteries in products sold by Microsoft, Samsung, Apple and others. We urged these companies, and others, to investigate their cobalt supply chains, publish the names of their smelters, and address any human rights issues, in accordance with international business and human rights guidelines.
Initially, Apple and Samsung neglected to address the serious concerns raised in Amnesty’s cobalt report, but when more than 100,000 people signed an Amnesty petition to Apple and Samsung, the companies finally took concrete steps to address human rights abuses in their cobalt supply chain.