A ten-year-old girl from West Wickham has launched a campaign against the use of cobalt mined by children in smartphone batteries.

Cerys Nicholls-Jones, who goes to Wickham Court School, was shocked to learn that companies including Apple are failing to do basic checks to ensure that the cobalt they use isn’t mined by child labourers.

Cerys couldn’t forget the topic after her teacher Samira Al-jboury, 26, taught a lesson based on an Amnesty International report into child labour.

All the pupils in the class wrote a letter to the CEO of Apple after the lesson, but Cerys was so bothered by the thought of this injustice that she had to do something else.

The Year 5 pupil said: “I feel devastated when I realise that for me to charge my iPod, children are risking their lives by working in mines.

“While I listen to music and play Minecraft, other children are not enjoying their childhood and are working as hard as adults in very dangerous conditions.”

Cerys has been awarded five house points for starting the petition – but she wants to achieve much more than that.

She says: “I am lucky to be able to go to school and be with my friends every day and I think Apple should make sure that the children that have worked to mine the cobalt they use in their lithium-ion batteries should have the same chance to go to school that I have.


“By starting a petition, I want Apple to see that lots of people agree with all of Year 5, so that they stop having children in mines and instead send them to school.

“Please sign the petition if you agree and encourage your friends and family to sign too.”

Amnesty International’s report documents how traders buy cobalt from areas where child labour is rife and traces a chain which it claims leads to technology and car companies including Apple, Microsoft and Samsung.

Ms Al-jboury, who has been teaching at the school for a year, said she was surprised at how much the children continued to talk about her lesson outside the class.

She says: “Even if we do not get a response from Apple, it is good for the children to understand the connection between things.

“It would be great to get as many people involved as possible.

“I hope someone in this corporation feels something and listens and there is a change.”

Sign Cerys’ petition here.