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The EV industry can’t shake its human rights abuse problem

Two workers wearing hard hats walk through an industrial area.
Workers walk in Glencore’s Mutanda Mine, which Tesla sources cobalt from, in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on June 19th, 2023.  | Photo by Emmet Livingstone / AFP via Getty Images

Mining for minerals used to make EVs and batteries is plagued with allegations of abuse, the latest report from the nonprofit Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) shows. And automakers continue to source materials from some of the worst offenders, The Verge finds.

BHRRC has documented 631 allegations of human rights abuses since 2010 for seven key minerals used in electric vehicles, rechargeable batteries, and renewable energy technologies. Many of the allegations were made against a small group of companies, which The Verge was able to link to three of the world’s biggest EV manufacturers: Volkswagen Group, Tesla, and BYD.

“Things are not improving,” said Caroline Avan, head of natural resources and just transition at…

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