Extractives & Mining

Mining is carried out in almost every country in the world and plays an important role in many economies. Though many mineral reliant countries rank low on the Human Development Index, suggesting that workers in those regions may be particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Workers, adults as well as children, are exposed to highly hazardous working conditions in this sector including exposure to harsh chemicals and lack of personal protective equipment. Several minerals are closely tied to armed conflict. In this setting workers may be forced to mine through induced indebtedness or under direct threat of violence. Mines are usually concentrated in remote areas, which leads to a high degree of isolation of workers making it physically unable for them to escape. Often mining activities create the only viable livelihood opportunity in a region, leaving workers with no alternatives even if they are facing exploitation. In some regions workers are recruited using recruitment offices who often provide the workers with misleading information. Many workers are then prevented from leaving their workplace through debt linked to their recruitment, physical isolation, and threats. Workers may also be sold to another person by a family member, who receives a payment for recruiting them, and the worker is then required to work off this fee.

Value Chains Assessment in the Central African Republic
Publications
01 December 2020

Conducted between February-September 2020, the assessment draws on both desk-based literature, key stakeholder interviews and field research conducted in Bangui, Bossangoa, Bocaranga and Yaloke, as well as internationally. The report presents the different stages of the gold value chain in...

Not Fit-for-Purpose: The Grand Experiment of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives in Corporate Accountability, Human Rights and Global Governance
Publications
01 July 2020

When MSIs first emerged in the 1990s, they appeared to offer a transformative and exciting proposition. For years human rights and advocacy organizations had been investigating and naming-and-shaming companies for their connections to sweatshop labor, deforestation, corruption, and other abusive...

Global Solidarity with Communities, Indigenous Peoples and Workers at Risk from Mining Pandemic Profiteers
COVID-19 resourcesPublications
02 June 2020

The mining industry is one of the most polluting, deadly, and destructive industries in the world. Yet to date, mining company responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have received little scrutiny compared to other industries seeking to profit from this crisis....

No Worker Left Behind: Protecting Vulnerable Workers from Exploitation During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 resourcesPublications
01 April 2020

This briefing builds on the understanding that labour exploitation is part of a spectrum ranging from labour compliance through to labour law violations, culminating at extreme exploitation in the form of forced labour. Research by FLEX and others shows that...

Destined for Trouble?
Publications
12 July 2019

The palm oil industry continues to be a highly controversial business and social proposition. Its detractors lay before society a long list of grievances covering a wide range of environmental, social and management issues. While its supporters continue to refute...

Assessing the Impact of Due Diligence Programs in Eastern DRC: A Baseline Study
Publications
01 April 2019

Over the past decade, due diligence programmes (DDP) have been developed in the Great Lakes Region to trace the origins of minerals, certify minerals as conflict-free and to improve mining communities’ livelihoods while reducing human rights abuses in conflict affected...

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