Coughing up blood, exposed to toxic amounts of mercury and working in dangerous pits that often collapse – this is the life of child labourers working in artisanal gold mines.
Despite mining being one of the most hazardous types of child labour, the International Labour Organization estimates that about one million children work in artisanal mining. Whilst it seems to be an impossible task to end this practice, it really is not. With just a few changes, we can end child labour in gold mining.
The key is the international gold refiners who hold significant power in the supply chain. Some of these companies have taken the lead by buying gold directly from licensed mines, whilst others conduct site visits and have put strict due diligence procedures in place.
However, an investigation by Human Rights Watchhas found that several international refiners – such as Switzerland's Metalor Switzerland, Dubai's Kaloti, and India's Kundan – have not implemented sufficient measures to ensure that gold mined by children doesn't enter their supply chains.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recommends specific measures that companies should put in place to ensure they do not contribute to human rights violations. All these companies need to do is put these in place.
As the saying goes, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
We must insist Switzerland’s Metalor, Dubai’s Kaloti, and India’s Kundan to not let evil triumph, but to adopt the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's recommendations to eliminate child labour from their supply chains.
We too are good men and women, and we too cannot sit idly by. By signing this petition, you are asking for nothing more than a few steps to be taken to end the practice of child labour in mining. Sign this with me, and let's win a victory in the fight to end child labour worldwide.
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