Stakeholders of the Mali mining sector got together to discuss the implementation of the CRAFT Code as a tool to promote the elimination of child labour in the Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector through improved due diligence practices

The CRAFT Code, developed by Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and RESOLVE, is designed to help both upstream and downstream players in the value chain assess critical social and environmental risks, with a specific focus on empowering artisanal miners to improve their practices in order to create better working environments as well as access to global markets and better trading conditions.

Article | Bamako, Mali | 14 June 2022
13 June 2022, Bamako, Mali – the ILO ACCEL Africa project, in collaboration with Solidaridad West Africa brought together different stakeholders of the mining sector (Government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, professional groups, mining companies, together with diplomatic missions and international organizations) through the organization of a workshop at the Azalai Hotel in Bamako. The workshop presented the Code of Risk Mitigation for Artisanal and small-scale miners engaging in Formal Trade (CRAFT Code) and its role as a tool to contribute to the elimination of child labour in the Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector in the country through the implementation of due diligence processes and formalization.

The CRAFT Code, developed by Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and RESOLVE, is designed to help both upstream and downstream players in the value chain assess critical social and environmental risks, with a specific focus on empowering artisanal miners to improve their practices in order to create better working environments as well as access to global markets and better trading conditions. It is an entry-point standard and tool aimed at driving responsible artisanal mining and sourcing . It empowers miners to understand the market sourcing and due diligence requirements and facilitates due diligence along the value chain.

Karim Berthe – Official of the Mining Division, National Directorate of Geology and Mines
The workshop is part of an implementation agreement between the ILO ACCEL Africa and Solidaridad West Africa through which Mali, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire are targeted to improve their due diligence practices and formalization processes in the gold mining supply chain by implementing the CRAFT Code training programme in partnership with a selected national institution with the aim to institutionalise the CRAFT training programme at the national level. In this perspective, the workshop also aimed at presenting the national partner institution in Mali – the National Directorate on Mining and Geology supported by the National Unit for the Fight against Child Labour – and initiating a discussion on potential public-private partnerships (PPP) to support the sustainability of the activity in the long-term term.

Silvia Possenti - Supply Chain & Enterprises Officer at ILO ACCEL Africa
Private sector contributions to the elimination of child labour in the gold mining sector in alignment with government priorities were discussed during the workshop as follow-up to the Durban Call to Action on the Elimination of Child Labour, which recognizes the responsibility of businesses and their contribution to the elimination of child labour and forced labour by carrying out due diligence in their operations and supply chains and ensuring responsible and sustainable business practices that address the root causes of child labour and forced labour. This is in line with the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the role of guidance from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct.

Ranking the country as the third gold producer in Africa, it is key to foster a more sustainable ASGM sector able to significantly contribute to the national socio-economic development. As indicated during the workshop, the elimination of child labour in the gold mining sector is among the governmental priorities and aligns with the national Road Map that aims to:
  • promote the organization and formalization of the sector (through for example cooperatives);
  • provide suitable trainings and working equipment for the artisanal miners;
  • create an appropriate framework for the operation of artisanal miners by delimitating gold mining corridors; and
  • support the development and financing of business plans for gold miners.
The workshop has been an opportunity to launch the basis for a closer collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders on promoting critical formalization and due diligence processes in the gold mining sector in Mali, in the light of the increasing need for a whole-of-supply chain approach to human rights due diligence and investments in system strengthening in alignment with public services to achieve sustained impact at scale.

Report about the ILO activity by L'Essor - https://lessor.ml/