In response to the commitment made this week by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to eliminate child labour in the mining sector by 2025, Seema Joshi, head of Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said:
“This commitment could mark a significant step on the road towards eradicating the scourge of children as young seven working in the mines of the DRC. If delivered, it means future generations of Congolese children won’t spend their childhoods mining materials for our smartphones and electric cars, in dark, dirty and dangerous conditions.
“The government’s strategy responds directly to findings uncovered by Amnesty International and for the first time, they have acknowledged that children are working in artisanal cobalt mines.
“These are encouraging developments, but the key now is implementation. Previous government promises on tackling child labour have come to nothing. We’ll be watching very closely to ensure this latest commitment isn’t another false dawn for children in the DRC.”