Today, just six days before the start of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 26, Electronics Watch releases two films focusing on the mining of nickel, a key mineral for batteries in electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure. Produced in collaboration with Pacific Asia Resource Center and Friends of the Earth, Japan, with support from Bread for All, A Cry from Palawan - The Environmental and Social Cost of Energy Transition and What is at Stake Behind the Energy Transition? - The Real Cost of Nickel Mining in the Philippines vividly demonstrate the need for a Just Transition to achieve the climate goals.
Our first major investigation of a cobalt and copper mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has revealed significant worker rights, health and safety and environmental problems. The investigation, which included extensive worker surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews, was conducted in collaboration with Southern Africa Resource Center (SARW) and Initiative Bonne Gouvernance et Droits Humains (IBGDH).
The Australian Government has engaged with Electronics Watch through the Australia Border Force to map its ICT supply chains and assess the risk.
Electronics Watch has embarked on a new chapter of its monitoring program in Taiwan. The pandemic in 2020 drew attention to the precarity of the supply chains and the importance of Taiwan for its key role in chip production. Taiwan produces cutting edge chips for the leading electronics companies and is crucial to the global semiconductor supply chain. Electronics Watch is now embarking on a pilot project with Serve the People Association (SPA), Taoyuan, to look at the risk of forced labour in workers manufacturing chips in Taiwan and to build a long-term sustainable partnership that respects and supports workers' rights.
This year, our virtual summit will focus on two of the most important yet least talked about workers' rights: the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. The summit will take place between November 30—December 3 and be the culmination of a series of activities on this topic that we are organising in 2021.
The Procurement Office of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior has presented the Electronics Watch impact model as best practice.
The pandemic year of 2020 has brought monumental hardship to workers everywhere. Lockdowns, homeworking and social distancing have made screens our main means of communication. Those producing these screens and related hardware have all too often laboured unprotected, and been denied a voice about their own health and safety. Their realities have been defined by insecurity and exclusion. For this reason, 2020 has also been a year Electronics Watch took on great challenges.
Electronics Watch has released a statement condemning the recent killing of Dandy Miguel, a young trade union leader in the Philippines. He was shot dead on 28 March while riding his motorcycle home from work. Attacks against unionists, activists and critics have escalated during the Duterte regime and the pandemic. Last year the Philippines was ranked among the ten worst countries for violations of workers' rights.
The City of Ghent in Belgium, with their ICT partner District09, and Ghent University, are the latest public sector bodies to join the rapidly expanding Electronics Watch network. These organisations have worked on sustainable procurement for some time. Now they intend to delve deeper into ICT.