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en/global-civil-society-calls-for-support-of-artisanal-mining-communities-in-the-wake-of-covid-19#c208470

Full English Press Release

Author: IMPACT, Action Mines Guinée, Alliance for Responsible Mining and others, Published on: 12 May 2020

"Emergency Action Needed for Vulnerable Artisanal & Small-ScaleMining Communities & Supply Chains", 12 May 2020.

...The World Bank conservatively estimates that there are over 41 million people in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector globally, at least 30% of which being women...It is estimated that over 150 million people are dependent on the artisanal and small-scale gold sector alone in over 80 countries...The ILO estimates that more than one million children work in mines and quarries, a reality that is often poverty driven...

The prized nature of...high-value minerals...means that women and men working in the ASM sector are often at risk of being preyed upon by illicit traders. They rarely receive a decent price for their ore or labour...In conflict-affected and high-risk environments they can also be targets of abuse by armed groups, public and private security forces...Miners are having to accept deeply discounted prices for their ore and products in order to survive. Price drops are more deeply felt by women working in the ASM sector, as they are chronically underpaid for their work and minerals as compared to their male counterparts...ASM typically involves high levels of migratory workforce, which lends itself to the spread of COVID-19 as well as violence against migrant workers...

Some governments have moved to restrict or shut down some ASM mine sites...in some countries, armed non-state actors may also capitalize on the opportunity to take over ASM mine sites as attention is diverted and artisanal miners are vulnerable...The COVID-19 crisis has made even more apparent the gaping inequalities in mineral supply chains. It has also made apparent the critical importance of supply chain due diligence from mine to market...A safe and responsible artisanal mining sector can be a vector for development and rapid post-COVID economic recovery for millions of women and men...

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