Strengthening the Capacity of Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon
The Strengthening the Capacity of Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon project, or SCIOA, is increasing indigenous people's influence in the governance of the Amazon region in order to protect the region's environment and the rights of its indigenous people. As part of USAID's Human Rights Support Mechanism, the project is reducing the negative impacts of economic development, including infrastructure projects and extractive activities, on Amazon forests and water resources. Through evidence-based programming, an emphasis on learning by doing and adapted, culturally relevant capacity development tools, Pact is building the capacities of indigenous organizations to access and manage financial resources and take ownership of their own development planning and priorities in the Amazon rainforest of Colombia, Peru and Brazil.
In Colombia's Bajo Cauca and South Bolivar regions, where gold mining is a critical livelihood, Pact leads the Pilares project in partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) to improve capacities of civil society to better understand and address child labor and promote acceptable conditions of work in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. Through a collective impact approach, Pact enables the development of a flourishing system of interconnected civil society actors and supports actions for the rights of children and workers.
Since 2013, Somos Tesoro—We are Treasure—has worked to strategically reduce child labor in mining areas and improve health and safety in artisanal and small-scale mines. With its local partners, Alliance for Responsible Mining, Fondo Acción and Fundación Mi Sangre, Pact is using an integrated approach, addressing the many factors that lead to child labor, including economic instability, challenges in implementing public policies favoring child protection, and a lack of quality education in rural mining areas. The project focuses on two geographic areas where families rely on mining for their livelihoods: the coal mining communities of Boyacá and the gold mining communities of Antioquia. Somos Tesoro has decreased the numbers of children working in mines and has benefited 4,300 households and 13,000 children. In addition to benefitting children and families vulnerable to child labor, the program is helping adult miners, teachers, educational institutions and local government. Somos Tesoro is working to 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 two mining regions. The project has developed a comprehensive livelihoods program, including savings and microfinance and increased opportunities to generate income and assets.