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Electronics Production | November 28, 2007

Report: Child labour behind cheap electronics

Cheap electronics products, especially for home use, are usually manufactured by children in very bad working conditions, Sweden based organisation Swedwatch claims.
Children between the ages of 7 -18 years old are working in the Katangas mines in Kongo-Kinshasa, Africa to break kobolt which is used in electronics products such as mobile phones, mp3 players and lap tops.

Usually the children are working with out any protection and for very low wages. About 50000 children is working in the Katangas mines. Approximately one fourth quarter of the world’s kobolt is used in electronics products, SVT reports. According to the report, the children are usually getting the most dangerous jobs like crawling into small areas to chop pieces of kobolt.

Tthe kobolt is exporteded to China, where major part goes to battery production. According to Swedwatch China is today one of the worlds largest producers and exporters of batteries for. The large OEM’s are buying the products without asking where the metal is coming from, Swedwatch claims.

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