Building the Capacity of Civil Society to Combat Child Labor and Improve Working Conditions in Colombia

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Project Duration: December 2017 - December 2020

Fiscal Year & Funding Amount:
FY2017: USD 2,000,000

The Problem

Most artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM) in Colombia lack land titles and fail to comply with labor and mining regulations, such as occupational safety and health standards and use of child labor. Children in these mines face harsh working conditions that rob them of their childhoods. Some get injured breaking rocks, digging in the dirt with picks or lifting heavy loads. Many get sick from exposure to the mercury used in processing the gold, and few find opportunities to get an education or better their lives. While Colombia’s Integrated Registration and Information System for Child Labor reports 5,000 cases of children working in or near mines and quarries, there exists no accurate data on the extent of child labor due to the informality of this sector.

Our Strategy

The project will increase the capacity of civil society organizations to address child labor and working conditions in ASGM. To achieve this, the project will use a roadmap developed and piloted by ILAB’s Somos Tesoro project to address child labor in mining communities. It will also form networks of civil society organizations in four municipalities of the Departments of Antioquia and Bolívar. These networks will pilot tools to detect, document and report cases of child labor and unacceptable working conditions, including in the gold mining supply chain. Better coordination will inform awareness-raising efforts, and will strengthen civil society’s participation and involvement in the implementation of policies to combat child labor and unacceptable working conditions in this sector.

Grantee: PACT


Implementing Partners:
Alliance for Responsible Mining


Contact Information: (202) 693-4843 / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)


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