Today, makeITfair campaigners in Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden will hand over thousands of signatures to mobile phone network operators such as KPN, T-Mobile, Tele2 and Vodafone to show that there is a consumer demand for mobile phones that are fair for people everywhere - a demand that network operators have ignored in the past.
Harsh working conditions in mobile phone factories around the world have led to the death of 14 young workers this year, who committed suicide at the Foxconn factory in Shenzen (China) while producing iPhones. Many young workers are also exploited at militia-run mines in DR Congo, where minerals are extracted for the latest trend-setting mobile phones.
Over the past few months, makeITfair and their campaign partners in Europe have collected around 7,000 digital and hard copy signatures from young consumers across Europe with a postcard action called: “I want a fair and green phone”. The action demanded that consumers should be given the choice of buying a phone that was fair for workers everywhere, as well as for the planet.
Irene Schipper, project coordinator of makeITfair, said: “By signing our action card, consumers have given a clear message that they want to have a choice for a fair and green phone. It is now up to the network providers, as the biggest retailers of mobile phones, to pressure the manufacturers to finally make these phones.”
In the Netherlands, the Director for Consumer Affairs of the KPN network will be asked to provide St. Nicholas – the Saint who brings presents every year for those who behave well – with fair and green phones next year, since he was not able to deliver this wish to young people this year.
In Germany St. Nicholas will hand over the postcards to the four largest network operators and wishes for fair and green phones for next year. In Hungary and Sweden, the hand-over will take place in ‘Christmas style’ or by appointment.