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Congolese Workers Face “Dire Conditions” in Foreign-Owned Cobalt Mines, Says NGO

A man carries a bag of material dug from mine waste as workers search for leftover cobalt somewhere between Lubumbashi and Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. EDERICO SCOPPA / AFP

DR Congo’s cobalt mining sector is notorious for worker abuse and exploitation. Until now, most of the focus has been on the informal, or artisanal mines where there is no government or corporate oversight, and the presence of child laborers has been well-documented over the years.

But the country’s industrial mining sector, which accounts for 80% of the DRC’s cobalt output, has received considerably less scrutiny. This is precisely why a new report from the London-based NGO Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) is sparking a lot of discussion this week about human rights violations in the EV battery supply chain.

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