March 2017 Report
This report is the first of a series from us at Sports Philosophy and the Freedom for Children Foundation where we will summarise key news, trends and developments concerning child labour. Child labour is a persistent issue around the world; It affects us as much as we affect it with our purchasing decisions. At Sports Philosophy, we are committed to making a difference and we aim to be a source of information. Here is a summary of recent news involving child labour as well as some of our views – we would love to hear your comments and opinions on the topic too.
A report from Sky News has found that children as young as 4 years old are involved in cobalt mining in Congolese mines. Sky News further revealed that Huayou, a Chinese mining company, has sourced cobalt from these mines. Cobalt is an essential component of batteries for smartphones and laptops. The company sells cobalt to third party battery makers who supply consumer electronics and auto companies. It is said that Apple has instructed Huayou to suspend all sourcing from Congolese mines until these have been checked to be child labour free.
Projects to stop child slavery in factories making products that are being sold in Britain will be supported by the UK government’s new modern slavery innovation fund. £6m of the £11m innovation fund will be awarded to projects run by organisations including the Salvation Army, the NSPCC and the Freedom Foundation.
The Guardian takes a look at the situation of child refugees coming to Europe from conflict zones such as Syria. The report states that the number of unaccompanied children who applied for asylum reached almost 100,000. It is believed that local authorities are not doing enough to “prevent children being forced into slavery, inappropriately treated by the police, or pushed into arranged marriages while on European soil.” The emotional experience of these events may make affected children more vulnerable and receptive to radicalisation.
The 2015 Malawi National Child Labour survey has revealed that 38% of Malawian children between 5 and 17 years are subject to child labour. The report further states that 60% of these children operate in hazardous conditions.
About a 1/5 of children between 10 and 14 years in PNG are subject to child labour. Studies have found child labour, including its worst forms - child trafficking, child prostitution, the use of children for the production and sale of drugs, and hazardous child labour - are extensive in PNG. As a result, the PNG government has launched an action plan to address the issue.
The Malaysian Cabinet has agreed to allocated RM5m (ca. £1m) for the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry to conduct a survey into the use of child labour in the palm oil sector. This survey is being conducted in association with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).