By Siddharth Kara. Cobalt is an essential component to every lithium-ion rechargeable battery made today — the batteries that power our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and electric vehicles. Roughly 75% of the world’s supply of cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — often by peasants and children in sub-human conditions. To uncover the truth about the mining practices there, the author investigated militia-controlled mining areas, traced the supply chain of child-mined cobalt from toxic pit to consumer tech giants, and gathered testimonies of the people involved. The author’s investigation chronicles the human rights abuses and its moral implications by exposing the immense toll of the mining on the people and the environment. Read more.