The Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sub-sector in Ghana accounts for around 39% (Minerals commission, 2017) per cent of gold production. It employs estimated 1 million workers and supports other 5million dependents. It is highly informal, illegal and unregulated. Despite the potential of ASGM to contribute to the well-being of its workers and the local and national economy, the sector is plagued with challenges due to the hazardous nature of the work, poor working conditions and other decent work deficits including child labour.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) believes that formalization of small-scale mining is a key step on the road to sustainability. Support for the transition from the informal to formal economy will help address decent work deficits and improve working conditions in ASGM.
Funded by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), the project, Convening Actors to Develop and Implement Strategies to Reduce Child Labour and Improve Working Conditions in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (CARING GOLD MINING PROJECT) in Ghana, will address the problem of child labour and poor working conditions in ASGM operations.
The CARING Gold Mining Project will support the sub-sector towards setting-up of formal and regulated, ASGM operations adhering to Occupational Safety & health and labour standards. It’s key partners are the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) and the Ghana National Association of Small-scale Miners (GNASSM), which has long been partnering with ASGM communities in the area of eliminating use child labour, the use of mercury, and adhering to mining standards in the Mineral and Mining policy of Ghana. It will reach out to four communities; Abedwum ,Adomanu, Sewum and Mochekrom and establish coordinating mechanisms where different government agencies, civil society organizations, local communities and miners can come together to collaborate on common goals.
The Project will pursue the following components:
· Strengthening of laws, policies and action plans and their enforcement and implementation to better address child labour and working conditions in ASGM.
· Facilitating the access of vulnerable households living in ASGM communities to social protection and livelihood programmes and supporting their transition to formal operations.
· Setting up and operationalization of mechanisms to increase transparency and monitoring of child labour and working conditions in gold mining supply chains, particularly ASGM, by mandated Government agencies and mining related stakeholders.
· Setting up of global networks to reduce child labour and to improve working conditions in ASGM while supporting and disseminating innovative solutions to reduce child labour and improve working conditions in ASGM.
For further information please contact:
Giovanni Soledad, Project Manager
ILO Project Office
2nd Floor, Head of Civil Services Annex
Ministries, Accra, Ghana
Tel. +233 302686899