Global demand for rare earths is huge. Mines in DR Congo are often under the control of armed groups. So far, international efforts to curtail the trade in so-called 'conflict minerals' have only had limited success.
June 12 is the World Day Against Child Labour. The UN estimates that 168 million children are being put to work globally. Many of them are in Africa, particularly in the Congo, where cobalt mining by children is rampant.
Huge global demand for rare earths has made them a source of income for brutal armed groups in the mineral-rich DR Congo. International efforts to ensure these so-called 'conflict minerals' are no longer an obstacle to peace are progressing slowly.
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