RCS Global Group and UNICEF Developing Toolkit to prevent and counteract child labour
In 2021, RCS Global Group and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced a technical cooperation to develop, pilot sites, and roll out internationally, a toolkit to prevent and counteract child labour by mitigating wider child rights infringements in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities in the DRC. The collaboration brings together the industry-leading technical expertise of RCS Global Group and the reach and experience of UNICEF, the world’s leading child rights organisation.
Through its word-first Better Mining program, RCS Global has pioneered a new, mineral agnostic and replicable, assurance and impact program that continuously monitors and supports the improvement of conditions on and around artisanal and small-scale mine (ASM) sites. Better Mining’s current scope includes over 44 artisanal and small-scale mine sites in cobalt, copper, gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Operating in more than 190 countries and territories, UNICEF is one the of world’s leading humanitarian and development agencies focused on helping disadvantaged and marginalised children to lead safe, healthy lives. Each year, the organisation protects and supports millions of children around the world through development programs, advocacy and rapid humanitarian response.
As part of UNICEF’s Mitigating Child Rights Deprivations in ASM Communities Project, financed by BMZ (the German Government) cooperation fund “We Stop Child Labor”, RCS Global and UNICEF have co-developed a toolkit for mine operators and supply chain stakeholders to better identify child rights violations and implement best practice social protection measures in the ASM context.
The toolkit includes actionable guidance related to engagement with children and parents on and around ASM sites, health and safety measures including access control to sites, and stakeholder engagement including with local authorities and civil society organisations.
The technical cooperation is highly innovative, as it allows the formal integration of the toolkit’s recommendations to be integrated into Better Mining’s digital application, complementing its database of over 300 mitigation measures for a variety of risk factors in the ASM sector. This allows the immediate replication of the approach across the mines already in the program, fast-tracking direct and practical impact.