Democratic Republic of Congo
Mutoshi Child Labor and Livelihoods Systemic Impact Project and Trafigura Foundation Watoto Inje Ya Mungoti (Children out of Mining) Malemba-Nkulu Project
This project aims to reduce child labour through interventions including: 1) Engaging local leadership for community-driven solutions, sensitizing communities about the dangers of child labour, and empowering community members for healthy futures; 2) A vocational education intervention to enable older adolescent children dependent on mining income to withdraw from mining; 3) An economic strengthening intervention focused on literacy, savings, and microfinance (WORTH), to help ASM workers build wealth, savings and economic resilience in the current ASM; 4) Supplier responsibility interventions to increase accountability among upstream mineral suppliers and equip them to respond to child labour-related risks in their supply chains; and 5) Systems strengthening interventions to develop local capacity among public institutions and civil society to sustainably address child labour and its causes.
Vocation Education Program
Pact’s project with the Responsible Business Alliance targets youth aged 15-17 working at ASM sites focusing on one branch of Pact’s child labor approach of capacitated communities by providing vocational education training to these youth. In each community, a detailed market study is undertaken to identify profitable and sustainable alternative trade sectors to mining. The selected apprentices then undergo a six-month intensive training program in a trade of their choice under the supervision of a local mentor (apprenticeship master) identified beforehand. Selected trades include: computer science, mechanics, soldering and metalwork, small animal husbandry, barbering, and tailoring. Upon graduation, support is provided for business start-up including initial start-up equipment, funding, and entrepreneurial trainings.
ASM Cobalt Formalization and Responsible Sourcing
A significant portion of ASM cobalt is currently produced by informal artisanal miners. ASM provides livelihood for a large number of people in the Lualaba and Haut Katanga provinces. However, artisanal miners are currently working informally and unsupervised in very difficult conditions. Some of the main risks associated with the ASM cobalt supply chain include child labor, frequent fatal accidents, poor working conditions as well as other human rights violations. To support and formalize the ASM sector, a commercial agreement was signed between Trafigura and the Enterprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC) that aims to establish and implement responsible sourcing standards at ASM cobalt sites (the EGC Responsible Sourcing Standard (“The EGC Standard”), and thus to mitigate supply chain risks and improve public perceptions of ASM cobalt. To do so, Trafigura and EGC will work with these miners and invest in their operations, rather than shut them out, leaving them without the support they need to improve their practices.
Pact is partnering with Trafigura and EGC and will be responsible for widespread training and monitoring the implementation of these standards on the ground, developing robust stakeholder engagement forums, providing technical assistance to mitigate traceability, health, safety, environment, and community risks while maintaining a permanent presence on operating sites and supporting continuous improvement of conditions for miners, ASM Cooperatives, government and other key stakeholders. A full description of Pact’s role in this project can be found in this presentation.
Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining
Working in Kolwezi, DRC, this project supports Trafigura's mineral suppliers in the development and ongoing maintenance of a responsible sourcing program. Pact assists suppliers in stakeholder consultation and awareness raising to facilitate the active and positive participation of miners, community members, community leaders, cooperatives and local authorities in the process of establishing a responsible mineral sourcing practice. Pact also completes due diligence and risk assessments as needed and supports suppliers to establish a consultation mechanism for risk management and conflict resolution, as well as a reporting mechanism for human rights abuses.
Combatting Child Labor in DRC's Cobalt Industry (COTECCO)
The COTECCO project is a three-year collaboration with International Labor Organization working to strengthen efforts by the Congolese government and relevant stakeholders to address child labour in the cobalt industry of the DRC in order to initiate substantial and structural changes in policy and practice-based approaches to combating child labour in cobalt supply chains. The project has three expected outcomes: 1) Increase common understanding of the challenges and opportunities for addressing child labour in the DRC’s cobalt industry; 2) Increased capacity of government and other relevant stakeholders to address child labour in the DRC’s cobalt industry; 3) Improved monitoring and remediation efforts by private sector of child labour in the cobalt supply chain. Pact is implementing the third outcome of the project, which main activities include the evaluation of existing monitoring and remediation systems, the creation of private sector advisory groups to ensure harmonized communications and create an effective channel for shared learning as well as the facilitation of access to remediation services through the development and dissemination of a set of referral and remediation tools.
Sustainable Mine Site Validation
This project is helping to counter illegal activities such as child labor, violence and other human abuses at artisanal mine sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through a validation process, the project verifies that no armed groups are present and that the mine has the legal authority to operate. This process is the first step to ensuring minerals are sourced responsibly and conflict-free, which contributes to broader peace and stability in the region.
Tanganyika Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation
This project is working to reduce the incidence of conflicts between the Batwa and Baluba people by strengthening peace and reconciliation efforts in the Nyunzu, Kalemie, Manono and Kabalo communities. The project is increasing cooperation and co-existence between the Batwa and Baluba peoples, strengthening conflict mitigation mechanisms and resolution processes for peace-building, and improving livelihoods through social cohesion and collaboration.
ITA Tin Supply Chain Initiative (ITSCI)
Pact leads field implementation for the International Tin Association’s tin supply chain initiative (ITSCI), the region’s only internationally accepted, operational due diligence mechanism and mineral traceability system for the 3T minerals -- tungsten, tin and tantalum. The system monitors minerals from the point of extraction at mines sites to smelters, where minerals are processed for use in electronics and other everyday devices. Pact conducts mine baseline studies to assess when sites are able to enter the system and supports governments in implementing the mineral tracking system. We also ensure that international guidance for ‘conflict free’ minerals is respected, including no human rights abuses, child labor, armed conflict or corruption. Pact records incidents when they arise and facilitates their resolution. The system allows tens of thousands of miners to earn a dignified living and build a better future for themselves and their families.