Joshua is one of an estimated one million children who work in artisanal and small-scale mines in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These mines are operated with simple machinery and are often part of the informal sector.
This week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has a chance to do something about this. The OECD hosts a forum at its headquarters in Paris, assessing whether current sourcing of minerals meet the OECD’s own 2011 Due Diligence Guidance. The Guidance sets out five steps that companies need to take to ensure they do not contribute to serious human rights abuses, such as the worst forms of child labor. It applies not only to conflict regions, but also to “high-risk” areas with institutional weaknesses, such as Ghana.