House Bill Addresses Chinese Exploitation of Congolese Children

China uses children to mine the cobalt used in EV batteries. 

U.S. Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced legislation that would ban products containing minerals secured with child labor in Congo from being used in the U.S. production of electric vehicle batteries. The measure addresses China’s abusive use of child labor in the cobalt and copper mines it controls that are located in the Congo. 

The legislation would prohibit importing “goods, wares, articles, or merchandise containing metals or minerals, in particular cobalt and lithium and their derivatives, mined, produced, smelted or processed, wholly or in part, by child labor or forced labor in the DRC.” The president would be required to impose sanctions, including visa and travel prohibitions, on those who exploit or facilitate Congolese child labor, under the proposed legislation. 

Representative Smith, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, previously said,  “The Chinese Communist Party’s quest for cobalt for batteries and lithium for solar panels to power the so-called green economy motivates human rapacity as an estimated 40,000 children in Congo toil in nonregulated artisanal mines under hazardous conditions… All field survey reports deplored the fact that the majority of mines use children in various tasks. This is done while Congolese legislation and international standards prohibit child labor.” He added that boys and girls “who initially come to the mines to obtain money for their schooling, end up dropping out of school.” 

The Congo produces over 70 percent of the world’s cobalt, along with other minerals, which are used in the manufacture of components for smartphones, digital cameras, computer hard drives, flat-screen televisions, computer monitors, and many other high-tech devices. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for Congressman Smith as he tries to prevent the abuse and exploitation of Congolese children.
  • For members of the House as they consider the legislation that seeks to curb China’s practice of using child labor in mining.
  • For the Congolese leaders as they deal with China and for the children who are being put to forced labor.

Sources: Fox News, Catholic News Service


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