‘Like slaves’: Solar panels may be great for the environment, but at what human cost?

Cairo: Hani Kamal El-Din


Modern abolitionist Grace Forrest has warned that the race to decarbonise the global economy risks repeating the mistakes of the colonial era by building industries from forced and child labour.

Forrest, who on Thursday night became the first Australian woman to win the Roosevelt Foundation’s Four Freedoms award for her anti-slavery advocacy, says the green economy is sleepwalking into another century of exploitation.

Grace Forrest, founder of campaign group Walk Free, in London for the publication of the 2023 Global Slavery Index.Credit: Grainne Quinlan

The work of his charity, Walk Free, has exposed modern slavery, forced labor and child labor across the renewable energy supply chain, with evidence of state-imposed forced labor on Uyghurs and other groups. majority Turks and Muslims in China in the manufacturing and supply of solar panels and other renewable technologies.

It has also shed light on slave-like conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where workers mine cobalt for use in rechargeable batteries for laptops and mobile phones.

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  • Source of information and images “brisbanetimes

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