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.