Child labour and working conditions in artisanal small-scale gold mining

Pre-situational analysis report on child labour and working conditions in artisanal small-scale mining communities in the Philippines

The study revolved around three interrelated points, namely: (a) key points of analysis – general and area specific; (b) recommendations to address child labour issues and concerns; and (c) recommendations to improve working conditions in artisanal small-scale mining (ASGM) communities in the municipalities of Labo and Paracale, Camarines Norte and T’boli Municipality, South Cotabato.

ASGM is largely informal in the country. As an unregulated mining activity, its contribution to the economy, its issues and role in the lives of many small-scale miners have remained undocumented and unaddressed. This lack of interest on the nature of small-scale mining was generally the case in-between 1990’s to 2010 (Gutierrez, 2015) despite the creation of Republic Act No. 7076 or The People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991. With the current administrations’ strong stance against large-scale mining operations in the country specifically with President Duterte’s support over Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) former Secretary Ms Gina Lopez’s position against so-called erring and unregulated mining operations, how does the government frame the status of ASGM?. This is one concern that sets the need to look into the way the government treats and regards ASGM in the country. This also grounds the first key point of analysis in the pre-situational analysis report – a policy ecology analysis especially between laws governing large-scale mining and small-scale mining.