Child Labor Helps Fuel Smartphones. This Phone Could Change That.

Watchdog groups say brands aren't doing enough to ensure child labor isn't linked to their phones.
Posted at 1:09 PM, Jun 12, 2017

When you buy a smartphone, you could be supporting child and exploited labor.

Smartphones need cobalt to work. As much as 60 percent of all cobalt is sourced from mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and watchdogs say brands like Apple and Samsung aren't ensuring it's a child-free process.

That's because governments often aren't inspecting the mines and because there's little accountability — for example, a clear way to trace the materials' origins.

Some brands have said they are against child labor or have opened investigations, but reports since have found the same problem.

One solution? Brands like Fairphone want to change the industry by setting a precedent of getting materials made and mined in safe working conditions.

Fairphone isn't sold in the U.S. yet, and there are few, if any, other brands like it.

A big part of the issue is people likely don't know where the parts in their phone come from.

Share this video if you think more people should know where their technology comes from.