Cobalt is a vital mineral needed for the production of rechargeable batteries. Two thirds of the world supply is located in The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where men, women and children all work with no regard to their safety. Efforts are being made to stop child labor in the cobalt mines, but they have not yet been successful.
Batteries for phones, computers and electric cars have pushed the global demand for cobalt through the roof. Chinese companies and middlemen have the strongest hold on the market which is barely regulated. Tech companies like Apple, Microsoft and Tesla are trying to find a way to access Congolese cobalt in a more humane way with proper accountability, but success has so far been minimal.