Extractives & Mining

Mining is carried out in almost every country in the world and plays an important role in many economies. Though many mineral reliant countries rank low on the Human Development Index, suggesting that workers in those regions may be particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Workers, adults as well as children, are exposed to highly hazardous working conditions in this sector including exposure to harsh chemicals and lack of personal protective equipment. Several minerals are closely tied to armed conflict. In this setting workers may be forced to mine through
induced indebtedness or under direct threat of violence. Mines are usually concentrated in remote areas, which leads to a high degree of isolation of workers making it physically unable for them to escape. Often mining activities create the only viable livelihood opportunity in a region, leaving workers with no alternatives even if they are facing exploitation. In some regions workers are recruited using recruitment offices who often provide the workers with misleading information. Many workers are then prevented from leaving their workplace through debt linked to their recruitment, physical isolation, and threats. Workers may also be sold to another person by a family member, who receives a payment for recruiting them, and the worker is then required to work off this fee.

Corporate Human Rights Benchmark – 2018 Key Findings
12 November 2018

The 2018 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assesses 101 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world on a set of human rights indicators. The companies from 3 industries – Agricultural Products, Apparel, and Extractives – were chosen for the...

2018 Responsible Mining Index – Summary Report
11 April 2018

The Responsible Mining Index (RMI) supports the principle that minerals and metals mining should benefit the economies, improve the lives of people and respect the environments of producing countries, while also benefiting mining companies in a fair and viable way....

The Hidden Cost of Jewelry: Human Rights in Supply Chains and the Responsibility of Jewelry Companies
01 February 2018

In this report, Human Rights Watch scrutinizes steps taken by key actors within the jewelry industry to ensure that rights are respected in their gold and diamond supply chains. The report focuses on the policies and practices of 13 major...

BHP Billiton Sustainability Report 2016
15 October 2017

It has been 20 years since BHP Billiton published its first Environment Report. Since then, across a variety of conditions and challenges, we have reported on the progress of our sustainability goals. While this year’s report again tracks our performance...

How Can Businesses Contribute to the Ethical Mining of Conflict Minerals? Addressing Risks and Creating Benefits Locally in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
10 October 2017

Tremendous strides have been made in recent years to raise awareness of the ethical and sustainability concerns in sourcing so-called conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold [3TG]) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the African Great Lakes region. These minerals’ extraction...

Tracing a Path Forward: A Study of the Challenges of the Supply Chain for Target Metals Used in Electronics
10 October 2017

This report outlines findings of the supply chain research (esp. Supply Chain Survey and Mapping) and desk review of supply chain initiatives, with an emphasis on lessons learned for future efforts aimed at improving the transparency of the electronics and...

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