Connecting People: The Human Cost of Cell Phones


The film “Connecting People: The Human Cost of Cell Phones” presented the concept of Globalization and its detrimental consequences on the environment and the working conditions for people within them. The Congo is one of the richest countries in the world and yet the Congolese people aren’t benefiting from its riches.


The biggest impact was the Congo authorities trying to stop the journalists from going to the mines. Misabiko is known as the president of the Human Rights group ASADO in the Katanga department. He was a former Amnesty prisoner and mining activist in Katanga. He knows the authorities will go to any lengths to make sure the miners’ conditions are unseen by the journalists. The authorities are trying to cover up the dangerous and poor working conditions, child labor, as well as poor living conditions of the people who work in the mines.


In the film, 5,000 Katanga people are living in a makeshift society two kilometers from the mines. The miners are living in horrendous living conditions; living under tarps and tents. Only owning the clothes on their backs and trapped in the same cycles of poverty with no opportunity for advancements. The miners walk to the mines to work given no protective gear knowing the mines can cave in on them at any moment. Many of these miners don’t even receive mining tools, forced to dig through the mines with their bare hands. Half of these miners are of the ages of seven and eighteen, having to carry hundred-kilo bags of cobalt on their shoulders. These miners make approximately  1.7 Euros a day and it costs them 100 kilos of cobalt for them to afford just one bag of flour.


There are no benefits when the working conditions and living conditions are so destructive that someone is treated so disgustingly that they can’t even function as human beings. Costs of products are always advancing whereas the prices to make these products stay the same as does the wages. When globalization only benefits the rich there are no real benefits or advances for change. There needs to be more advocacy; when you pay to double for an iPhone than the cost to make it there is no need for people such as the Katanga to be paid 1.7 Euros a day.

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