June 9, 2016
Electronics companies are doing far too little yet to eradicate child labour from gold mining
Multinationals should follow Fairphone example
However, forced by American legislation, electronics companies are making an effort when it comes to avoiding the use of conflict minerals in their products. With this, the industry shows that they are capable of bringing about change. Unfortunately, eradicating child labour when it comes to mining minerals is not properly on their radar yet. Only Apple, Acer and again Fairphone have additional policies against child labour that go beyond the industry standard. However, in practice the monitoring of these codes of conduct does not reach the gold mining.
It is striking to see that manufacturers of parts in particular are doing very little against child labour, and the consumer brand Ericsson is not showing much activity either.
A duty to care
A mobile phone should not only be manufactured ‘child labour free’, but the resources should also be mined and processed without child labour. Still, there is not even one electronics company that knows exactly where the gold in their production lines comes from and whether this has been mined by child labourers. This is why Stop Child Labour is calling on companies to make a serious effort to combat child labour in their supply chain. Consumers can sign a petition to support this campaign.
1 million children are working in gold mining
“As many as 67.9% of the Dutch citizens believe that it should be prohibited to produce electronics products with child labour. And it should not be allowed to use resources that are mined and processed by child labourers. What’s more, at least half of the Dutch population is prepared to start paying more for products containing child labour free gold. Stop Child Labour is calling on the electronics industry to make a real effort to achieve fair gold mining. And to jointly work towards a plan for improving this situation,” according to Sofie Ovaa.
About Stop Child Labour
‘Stop Child Labour – School is the best place to work’ (SCL) is a coalition that consists of the Algemene Onderwijsbond (AOb), Mondiaal FNV, Hivos, the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), Kerk in Actie & ICCO Cooperation and Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland. Stop Child Labour is coordinated by Hivos and cooperates closely with local partner organisations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. (www.stopchildlabour.org)
India Committee of the Netherlands - June 9, 2016