Cobalt mines – child labour in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Question for written answer E-002207/2022
to the Commission
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. 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.
- 1.How exactly does the Commission enforce its zero‑tolerance approach to child labour in the cobalt supply chain?
- 2.How does it ensure that European Green Deal policy initiatives are consistent with ILO Convention 182 standards?
- 3.How is it addressing the conflict in its policy under 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 8.7, which aims to end to child labour in all its forms by 2025, and under the EU’s 2030 climate target?