Child Labor in the EV Supply Chain

‘Our daily lives are powered by a human and environmental catastrophe in the Congo.’


  • Cobalt is a necessary metal for the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs). The majority of this cobalt comes from Chinese-owned cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • Thirty percent (30%) of cobalt from the DRC is mined by non-industrial “artisanal” workers. “Artisanal” mining is a euphemism for low-paid, subsistence miners and their families, including children, living and working in brutal and unsafe conditions.
  • Many of the ultimate purchasers of the cobalt, including EV and EV battery makers, belong to various industry organizations supposedly working to ensure that the supply chain does not include cobalt produced by child labor. These organizations, however, have little actual control or influence over the cobalt production. They provide, in reality, little more than fig leaf reputational protection for the EV industry.
  • EVs have no environmental or economic justification.
  • The EV supply chain relies on Communist China. So reliance on EVs endangers US national security.

Photo: Creative Commons |