CBS news is reporting children, some only 4 years old, are being used to mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An Amnesty International report says, “The glamourous shop displays and marketing of state of the art technologies are a stark contrast to the children carrying bags of rocks, and miners in narrow manmade tunnels risking permanent lung damage.”
In an updated report, almost 18 months later, they stated, “More than half of the world’s cobalt, which is a key component in lithium-ion batteries, comes from the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo], and 20% of it is mined by hand. Amnesty International documented children and adults mining cobalt in narrow man-made tunnels, at risk of fatal accidents and serious lung disease.”
While these reports aren’t concerned with diamonds, it is not a difficult leap to think mining methods in Africa are similar. If you’re not interested in wearing a blood diamond, put your engagement on the blockchain.