Cobalt-mining boys given hope – but many still suffer – by Alex Crawford (Sky News – May 10, 2017)

Sky News has found children continue to work long hours in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – months after multinational corporations insisted they had cracked down on this exploitation.

Despite multiple assurances from international companies about changing work practices and tightening up supply lines, we have found nothing has changed in practice on the ground.

After an overwhelming response to our report earlier this year, with offers of donations and adoption for the children featured in the report, as well as a White House petition demanding changes, we returned to the impoverished African country to try to find some of the young people involved.

We found the two young boys we had met carrying sacks of cobalt in the pouring rain were still hard at work mining one of the most desirous minerals on Earth today – but earning barely enough to stay alive.

If anything, the situation in the remote informal mining community we discovered in the former Katanga Province is worse. The miners are finding it harder to trace the mineral after several years of digging it out by hand.

Eight-year-old Dorsen and his friend Richard, who is a few years older than him, were both tired and dirty when we found them again. They were still spending their days shifting sacks filled with soil as adult miners dug fresh tunnels in the effort to find the cobalt.

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