Experts and global actors from Africa, Asia and South America gathered in Manila to address child labour and poor working conditions in artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM).
The first-ever Inter-regional Knowledge-Sharing Forum on Child Labour and Working Conditions in ASGM of the International Labour Organization (ILO) served as a platform for dialogue.
Governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, international non-government organizations, civil society organizations, miners’ groups and their communities, and ASGM supply chain actors joined the forum.
Countries represented include Colombia, Congo, Cote d’ Ivoire, France, Ghana, Guyana, Indonesia, Italy, Mali, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Thailand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.
“Jobs in artisanal and small-scale gold mines are often linked to poor working conditions, with limited rights and access to social protection, without a voice and freedom to join unions. Miners risk their safety and health even without stable income to lift their families out of poverty. Of great concern are children working in these mines, which is one of the worst forms of child labour,” said Khalid Hassan, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.
ILO estimates in 2011 revealed that 19,000 children work in 45 artisanal and small-scale gold mines in the Philippines. Children can be found inside mining tunnels or on surface collecting gold and hauling sacks of ore or smelting gold.