Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog 8: Technology and child labor

     Have you ever given any thought about who makes the electronic that make your life easier? If not, continue on reading this blog entry as I am about to show you the truth behind that mini tablet that you take granted for.According to an article entry by Alisha Mims in an online source called The Rings of Fire, the ever growing demand for electronic devices fuels the usage of children as workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The children of East Congo may not be the ones responsible for putting together the devices, however, they are very much a part of the labor. As an example, the materials used to make the body of a cellular phone can be abundantly found in East Congo. The most important element in making the production of cellphones, DVD, etc., is tantalum, which the eastern part of Congo have to offer. Additionally, the article provides information about the situation in Congo a decade ago in 1999, when the photographer Marcus Bleasdale captured the truth about the exploitation of women and children workers who work to mine tin, tantalum, tungsten (blood minerals), and also gold. Bleasdale went back earlier this year to personally witness the current situation in Congo,  and what he found was actually worse than what it was a decade ago. As the conflict in the nation continues on, so does the recruitment of child laborers, soldiers, and the widespread poverty. There are reports that the previous companies who used to buy products from the conflict infested mines stopped its negotiations with the local mining groups. However, there are negative effects that followed the ban of buying from these mines, many business collapsed and the unemployment soared.
 Today, major companies such as Apple, Intel, and HP purchase the materials that they need from conflict-free manufacturers around the world. However, the gaming company, Nintedo, have not done any measures to ensure that they do not buy controversial products.

     This article shows and proves that buying materials and electronics from the world's major companies affects many children and women in the remote and poverty-stricken parts of the world. Some of us indirectly "supports" the use and abuse of children in one way or the other. It is a sad reality that some companies continue on being ignorant about the things that needs to be paid attention.

Trisha May Antonio
4:05 PM

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