Tech Talk: Our Technology's Child-Labor Connection

Tech Talk with Lisa Hendey/Son Rise Morning Show (

On a recent episode of the Son Rise Morning Show, we discussed a surprising connection between our high-tech devices and child labor in locations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Listen to the conversation here:

According to a special investigation released by CNN this week, you and I may be complicit in exploiting child labor simply by using our cell phones, laptops or electric vehicles. CNN reports:

 A CNN investigation has found that child labor is still being used to mine the valuable mineral at some operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This country produces about two-thirds of the world’s cobalt and is estimated to sit atop half of the globe’s reserves.
This is significant in that lithium-ion batteries are in greater demand than ever as our deman for smartphones and electric vehicles continues to rise. Rising demand causes rising prices which means the supply chain is more lucrative than ever. Unfortunately, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and likely in other cobalt-rich areas of the world, this means that young children are being pressed into labor to mine cobalt.
Pope Francis on the “scourge” of child labor:

So what can we do, short of stopping our usage of these products?

Certainly, there is not a “quick fix” to this endemic problem. Let us pray together for the protection and dignity of every human life.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2018 Lisa Hendey


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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