It’s in batteries, in laptops, and in your smartphone: cobalt. Most of the cobalt is extracted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Human rights are violated in a profound way in this process, research by SOMO has found. What goes wrong and who is responsible for that? We talk about it with, among others, human rights activitist Emmanuel Umpula (DRC) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The working conditions of the mining and processing of cobalt in the DRC are downright miserable. Whole communities suffer the consequences of cobalt mining. Children are often being used as labor forces, the surroundings are heavily polluted, and local inhabitants are forced to migrate to places where the most basic facilities are lacking.
In this panel discussion, we investigate the responsibility of companies for these human rights violations and talk about possibilities for more transparency and laws. Prior to the panel discussion the short documentary of Myrthe Verweij will be shown. She has just returned from the DRC, where she made a documentary about cobalt mining for the GoodElectronics Network.
About the Speaker
With Myrthe Verweij (director documentary on Cobalt winning), Emmanuel Umpula (Human Rights Activist AFREWATCH – DRC Congo), Dirk-Jan Koch (Special Envoy Natural Resources at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Carla Neefs (Philips Lightning) and Fleur Scheele (researcher SOMO).
The moderator is Maite Vermeulen (Correspondent Conflict & Development for The Correspondent).