The U.S. Department of Labor has granted USD 2,000,000 to support a project on building the capacity of civil society to combat child labor and improve working conditions in Colombia, contributing to the U.S. Government’s efforts to advance respect for human rights among businesses.
Most artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM) in Colombia lack land titles and fail to comply with labor and mining regulations, such as occupational safety and health standards and use of child labor. Children in these mines face harsh working conditions that rob them of their childhoods. Some get injured breaking rocks, digging in the dirt with picks or lifting heavy loads. Many get sick from exposure to the mercury used in processing the gold, and few find opportunities to get an education or better their lives. While Colombia’s Integrated Registration and Information System for Child Labor reports 5,000 cases of children working in or near mines and quarries, there exists no accurate data on the extent of child labor due to the informality of this sector.
This project will build the capacity of civil society organizations to more effectively detect and combat child labor and unacceptable working conditions in artisanal and small-scale mines in Colombia. It will form networks of civil society organizations and empower local communities to build a grassroots movement to improve working conditions and reduce the risk that children will be used in this harmful work.
Project Duration: December 2017 – December 2020
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More information on the project can be found here.