Press Release: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Unmasking Modern-Day Slavery in Congo and Sudan

December 2, 2023

The world we live in is adorned with technological marvels that can disguise a terrifying reality—the pervasive existence of modern-day slavery. This press release, “Deceptive Abolition,” exposes the complexities of exploitation in the global supply chain and the haunting echoes of Sudan’s history, challenging the soothing idea of liberation.

As Broken Chalk marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, this press release challenges the notion of liberation, revealing the complex web of exploitation in global supply chains and the echoes of Sudan’s past. The fight against slavery, it seems, is far from over.

Often, gold mines in the Congo are filled with child miners such as Patrice, 15, who started working at this mine when he was only eight years old. Photo by Image Journeys Sasha Lezhnev on Flickr.

Deceptive Abolition: A Closer Look at Congo’s Lithium Mines

Congo’s lithium mines, crucial contributors to the tech sector, have sadly become hotspots for severe human rights violations. The insatiable global demand for smartphones, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage has birthed an exploitative system, forcing individuals into unsafe conditions for meagre remuneration.

The lithium mining process is fraught with peril. Miners, often children, toil in confined and hazardous environments, exposed to toxic chemicals without adequate protection. Reports of child labour, abysmal working conditions, and lack of basic utilities contrast starkly with the illusion of a slavery-free society. The prevalence of slavery in the lithium sector goes beyond ignorance; profit-driven corporations willingly turn a blind eye to the human cost, hiding behind the complexity of global networks.

Congo’s Role in iPhone Production: Unveiling Mass Human Rights Violations

Digging beneath Congo’s surface reveals an abundant lithium source, a critical component in the lithium-ion batteries powering iPhones. As consumers revel in sleek design and advanced functionality, how often do we ponder the human cost? The interconnection between Congo’s mines and Apple’s sophisticated supply chain isn’t accidental; it’s a consequence of a profit-driven global economy. The iPhone, a symbol of technological progress, harbours a dark secret—rampant exploitation in Congo’s lithium mines. Despite claims of sustainability, Apple Inc.’s supply chain practices paint a different picture, casting doubt on corporate accountability and fueling scepticism about the abolition of slavery.

Moving Forward: A Call for Transparency and Accountability

This revelation isn’t an accusation but a call to action. It urges individuals, corporations, and governments to collaborate in creating a world where technological growth aligns with ethical responsibility. Congo’s lithium mines expose the dire need for transparency and accountability across global supply chains. As consumers, we must advocate for companies to embrace responsibility for their product lifecycle. This report by Broken Chalk aims to spark a conversation about the hidden costs of technological advancement, urging collective action to eradicate the persistent stain of modern-day slavery.

Navigating Modern-Day Slavery in Sudan: An Ongoing Crisis

In Sudan’s labyrinthine history, the darkness of slavery has cast a long and haunting shadow, evolving through centuries and manifesting in myriad forms. As we approach the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, it’s crucial to delve into Sudan’s struggle against modern-day bondage, marked by historical legacies and contemporary challenges.

Sudan’s historical tapestry is woven with threads of slavery, dating back to imperial influences and echoes of the second Sudanese civil war. Distressing reports emerged during the 1983-2005 conflict, revealing government-backed militias engaging in practices reminiscent of historical slavery. Abductions and enslavement, particularly in Darfur, drew global attention to egregious human rights violations.

We’ve uncovered enduring shadows in navigating Congo’s lithium mines and Sudan’s historical struggles. These tales of exploitation and resilience demand more than acknowledgement; they beckon us to collective action. The revelations from Congo and Sudan underscore the urgent need for transparency, accountability, and a united front against the chains binding humanity.

As we commemorate the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, let this report be a catalyst for change—a call to confront uncomfortable truths, advocate for ethical responsibility, and strive for a world where progress aligns with justice, human rights, and the unequivocal abolition of modern-day slavery. The shadows may endure, but so does the human spirit’s capacity for resilience and the collective power to break free from persisting shackles.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.


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