The responsibility of different actors and of Europe on the violations of the right to health of cobalt miners in Katanga

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Hemptinne, Priscilla : de
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Cobalt is considered as a critical raw-material and is a key component of rechargeable batteries. The rising demands for those batteries and for cobalt is arising from the energetic transition and is fostered by policies like the European Union’s new instrument calling for a zero-emission mobility, the European green Deal. Katanga is the world’s largest cobalt producer, but the work- and living conditions of the miners and of the Katangese population in general are worrying and subject to a lot of human rights violations. The huge pollution of water, soil and air in the region, the working conditions and the excessive exposure to cobalt induce various adverse health effects. Those health issues amount to structural violations of the right to health of the miners and the local populations. The responsibility for those violations needs to be investigated amongst the different actors. Those are, the mining companies, the transnational companies of the cobalt supply chain, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the foreign government holding extraterritorial responsibility and the European Union encouraging the rising demand in cobalt.
Second semester University: Ca' Foscari University of Venice
Republic of Congo, right to health, European Union, pollution, transnational corporations, human rights violations, working conditions