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Parliamentary question - E-002207/2022Parliamentary question

Cobalt mines – child labour in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Question for written answer  E-002207/2022
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tomáš Zdechovský (PPE)

Cobalt is a critical component in rechargeable car batteries and is indispensable for the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources. The EU’s 2030 climate target will only increase demand for this metal in the EU.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the world’s largest known reservoirs of this metal are found, provides a substantial amount of the cobalt the EU needs to meet its growing demand[1]. Despite the Commission’s zero‑tolerance approach to child labor in trade agreements, it is estimated,, according to reports by UN agencies, that in the southern Katanga province, more than 40 000 children are working in hazardous conditions in cobalt mines, with inadequate safety equipment and for very little money[2].

Last updated: 28 June 2022
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