Congo communities forcibly uprooted to make way for mines critical to EVs, Amnesty report says – by Taiwo Adebayo (Associated Press – September 12, 2023)

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The mining of minerals critical to electric vehicle batteries and other green technologies in Congo has led to human rights abuses, including forced evictions and physical assault, according to a new report from Amnesty International and another rights group.

Congo is by far the world’s largest producer of cobalt, a mineral used to make lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other products, and it is also Africa’s top producer of copper, which is used in EVs, renewable energy systems and more.

Rights groups and U.S. officials have long criticized the trade of Congo’s cobalt, copper and other minerals due to abusive labor and the risk of violence in an impoverished central African country where militants control swaths of territory

A measure was introduced in the U.S. House in July to ban imported products containing cobalt and copper and mined through child labor and other abusive conditions in Congo. The report released Tuesday by Amnesty International and the Congo-based Initiative for Good Governance and Human Rights, or IBGDH, details how the search for the minerals has forcibly uprooted people from their homes and farmland, often without compensation or adequate resettlement.

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