The materials that people get to use technology such as IPhone, Computers and etc. are mined in Cerro rico, Indonesia, Congo (DRC), Peru, Chile, Australia and South America. Some of the materials that are used in technology that are mined are:Tantalum, Tungsten, Gold, Gallium, Aluminium, Copper, Iron, Silicon (microchip), Cobalt, Silver and Platinum. The Interactive Periodic Table saids how all of these materials are used for technology: Cobalt: Iron so it used like a magnet and also used for it’s appearance. Copper: used because it can conduct heat and electricity very well. Tantalum can act as an insulating (dielectric) layer. Tungsten: Alloyed with other metals to make them stronger. Platinum: To make less waste. Gallium:Is used as red LEDs (light emitting diodes) because of its ability to convert electricity to light. Aluminum: good electrical conductor and often used in electrical transmission lines. Silicon:Is used as waterproof sealant. As you can see all of these materials are very important to make technology. But just because we get technology from those materials, it doesn’t mean it benefits everyone. The people who are mining these are very small children to old people. These materials are very important to let US use our technology when some people don’t even have technology, so this does not benefit everyone.
Because there is materials that are needed to mine, kids are needing to mine for these materials too and I think it is a very bad problem. The kids have to mine everyday and at max time 24hr per day. The kids are young as our age or even younger have to mine. LA times says that, “UNICEF report found that children as young as 6 years old have worked in its tunnels.” The fact that kids “young as 6 years old” worked and mined shows that children work from a really young age. Because they work from a really young age the children can have many after effects after they end their time working and mining these materials. Some of the effects are: headaches, sights and hearing problems etc. You can see that this is child labour and this is not good at all and it is causing many pain for the children.
My recommendations are to have a unit about this topic about child mining and discuss about it. I think if we do this it will show a bigger awareness to everyone and how children that are young as 6 are working and mining. As a unit I think it will be nice if they can talk about this and then even have a research project about this at the very end. Human Rights watch says that, “there is going to be a meeting soon at Hong Kong about the state of gold mining.” The fact that they are going to have a meeting shows that people are actually trying to do things to try and stop the mining happening and child labour happening. My recommendation will help because more people will know and hopefully there would be more people who are willing to stop this problem and make this better. If my recommendation works, more people will know how much little kids are risking their lives to let us have an IPhone and great technology. If we know that we will be able to be more thankful for our phones and how much they should mean to us and how valuable they are. You can see that people need to know more about child labour and how big of a deal that is.
- Merchant, Brian. “Were the Raw Materials in Your IPhone Mined by Children in Inhumane Conditions?” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 23 July 2017, beta.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-merchant-iphone-supplychain-20170723-story.html.
- Mottaz. “ILO.” Learn More about Child Labour in Mining (IPEC), 6 Jan. 2006, www.ilo.org/ipec/areas/Miningandquarrying/MoreaboutCLinmining/lang–en/index.htm.
- Kippenbirg, Juliane. “End Child Labor in Gold Mines.” Human Rights Watch, 13 Nov. 2012, www.hrw.org/news/2012/11/13/end-child-labor-gold-mines.
- “Mining & IPhone Recycling.” Metallurgist & Mineral Processing Engineer, www.911metallurgist.com/mining-iphones/.
“Periodic Table – Royal Society of Chemistry.” Royal Society of Chemistry, www.rsc.org/periodic-table.