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Radio New Internationalist - Mobile talking

The marketing mavericks of mobile phones should take a bow. They’re getting some astounding results. According to a recent report from the United Nations, more than two thirds of the world’s population are now mobile cell phone subscribers. In the United Kingdom and Hong Kong there’s actually more mobile phone subscribers than people. So today’s guests pull out their mobile phones (or cell phones as they're called in some countries) and press the ‘on’ button. While we hear that instant mobile communications has some definite benefits, they are obtained at the expense of our health and the environment.

  • In Hong Kong, young people are gaining sexual confidence through their mobile phone conversations. Angel Lin from the Chinese University of Hong Kong tells us how.
  • By contrast, mobiles serve all kinds of other uses in conflict zones. Sanjana Hattotuwa from Sri Lanka's Center for Policy Alternatives, talks about why he thinks their use should be recognized as a human right.
  • The world is using China as a dumping ground for its mobile phone batteries. Jamie Choi, the Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace China, leads us through some affected communities.
  • From the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Vice President of Business Development for GoodWorks International, shows us the environmental and economic destruction caused by the mines that are digging up resources to make our mobiles.

And our musical backdrop for mobiles? Some funky ambience from the Ryukyu Underground CD – which mixes traditional music with electronica – provides a fitting beat.
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