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Wed Oct 5, 2022, 01:47 PM

U.S. Acknowledges Child Labor in Electric Vehicle Supply Chain

For the first time, the U.S. has included cobalt on a list of products made by forced or child labor.

ByMolly Taft
7 minutes ago



A worker carries wet cobalt at the Shinkolobwe Cobalt mine in the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
Photo: Schalk van Zuydam (AP)

The federal government has, for the first time, included crucial raw materials needed for the clean energy transition under a list of goods that have child or forced labor in their supply chains.

E&E News was the first to report on the change, which the Biden administration rolled out on Tuesday. The administration this week updated the list of goods, which it has maintained since 2006, with polysilicon, used primarily to make solar panels, as well as cobalt, which is a key input in lithium-ion batteries.

. . .

But the labor practices surrounding both these materials have serious issues. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is home to around 70% of the world’s cobalt resources, an estimated 40,000 of the 255,000 miners involved in the industry are children, some as young as 6 years old. These children often work 12-hour days—some shifts are as long as 24 hours—for pay as low as a few dollars a day.

. . .

Last year, the U.S. banned the import of polysilicon from certain companies in China in order to crack down on the horrific labor practices of that supply chain. The import of products containing cobalt from the DRC, however, remains unregulated—and experts told E&E News in March that they don’t expect to see a similar crackdown on cobalt products. (Some human-rights advocates say that hamstringing the industry would be a huge blow to communities that rely on the mines for income, and that working conditions in DRC cobalt mines, while bad, do not meet the standard for forced labor as is seen in China.)

More:
https://gizmodo.com/child-labor-cobalt-polysilicon-electric-vehicles-1849620367

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Reply U.S. Acknowledges Child Labor in Electric Vehicle Supply Chain (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 5 OP
Brenda Oct 5 #1
NNadir Oct 5 #2
masmdu Oct 5 #4
NNadir Oct 6 #6
Solly Mack Oct 5 #3
progressoid Oct 5 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 02:00 PM

1. What in the actual fuck?

Which human-rights advocates are saying ... it's bad but doesn't meet the standard for forced labor ... when talking about 40,000 children as young as 6 being miners working 12-24 hour days?!

Those freaking kids ain't transporting, processing or selling it on the market to international buyers.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 03:53 PM

2. It's about time. The limited supply of cobalt is the reason...

...the electric car fantasy is not sustainable.

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Response to masmdu (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 6, 2022, 03:01 AM

6. These cheerleading websites are delusional.

Basically, I read the primary scientific literature, and I am well aware of how electricity is generated, the second law of thermodynamics and other related things.

Pretty much every damned day I go through one major scientific journal or another where the chemistry of batteries is discussed. I no longer even read the majority of them anymore, the trends are clear. I'd rather focus on something called "reality."

(Most of my journal here consists of discussions of things I come across in these scientific publications, most often connected with the environment and energy, with commentary on social implications.)

For any serious environmentalist, horseshit from the likes of "cleantechnica" and other oblivious car CULTure marketing publications is at best disturbing, at worst, horrifying.

I've noted over the years the many justifications that bourgeois cargo cults make for their indifference to the bulk of the world's population who live in what can only be described as appalling poverty. Cobalt mining enslaved children are just the surface.

No thanks.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 04:31 PM

3. K&R

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 10:08 PM

5. There are some unfortunate truths we need to face with EVs

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