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Patricia Henao Saavedra

project director

Diana Muratova

program officer

Around the world, 168 million children are engaged in work that deprives them of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. Work that is harmful to their physical and mental development.

More than one million of these children live in Colombia.

Despite the Colombian government’s efforts to reduce child labor, more than 5,000 children work in the extraction of minerals, exposing them to health and safety hazards and physical injury.

These children mine for a variety of reasons—economic instability, challenges in implementing public policies favoring child protection, limited public commitment to the eradication of child labor and a lack of quality education in rural mining areas.

Pact and our local partners are working with the Colombian government to reduce child labor and improve health and safety in artisanal and small-scale mines through an integrated approach—addressing the numerous factors that lead to child labor.

Somos Tesoro—We are Treasure, in Spanish—will benefit thousands of children and families vulnerable to child labor, as well as adult miners, teachers, educational institutions and local government, in the coal mining communities of Boyacá and the gold mining communities of Antioquia, where families rely on mining for their livelihoods.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the project will strengthen schools, promote greater economic stability in mining families, apply labor and mining health and safety standards, strengthen child protection policies and formalize artisanal mining in the mining regions of Boyacá and Antioquia.

Stories and Highlights

Mother and child in Katanga, DRC

Addressing child labor demands an integrated approach

June 10, 2016
This post orginally appears on the Crowd360 website and is cross-posted with permission. In factories, fields, and mines around the world, 85 million children toil in hazardous conditions that...
Access to Justice community meeting

Helping vulnerable people exercise their voice, access their rights

December 10, 2015
"Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always." That’s the theme for this year’s Human Rights Day. At Pact, we believe all individuals are entitled to fair treatment under the law and protection from harm. That’...

Faces and voices of Colombia’s artisanal miners

August 4, 2015
They are men and women. They are old and young. One crushed stones to feed her family. One grew up watching miners sift for bits of gold almost too small to see, and now she advocates on behalf of...

Hanging by a thread: Fighting child labor in Colombia

October 29, 2014
More than 5,000 children work in mining in Colombia. With our local partners, Pact is combating child labor in mining.

'Somos Tesoro' initiative launched in Colombia

May 2, 2014
This week, Pact launched a $9 million initiative to fight child labor in mines in Colombia. With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor and the support three local partners, “Somos Tesoro” —...

U.S. Department of Labor, Pact to combat child labor, promote mine safety in Colombia

October 1, 2013
The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that Pact will carry out a four-year, $9 million project to combat child labor in Colombia while also improving mine safety for adults.