The London Metal Exchange (LME) has adopted new mineral sourcing standards requiring companies to address concerns over child labour. This follows revelations that cobalt traded on the LME came from sources that may be linked to child labour in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – an investigation into child labour in cobalt mining is being conducted by the LME.

Electronics contain a wide range of minerals, many of which come from unregulated and informal sources in areas like the DRC which may use child labour. Cobalt and gold in particular have been linked to human rights violations and environmental negligence in areas like the DRC.

However, new standards adopted by the LME adhere to the OECD guidelines on responsible sourcing, with the objective of requiring companies which trade on the LMC to address child labour risks in their supply chains. Companies which source minerals and produce metals will be required to demonstrate their responsible mineral sourcing initiatives.

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