***Special note*** ITSCI is urgently seeking support including from donors, international institutions and downstream industry, to maintain its operations during the Covid-19 crisis. Covid is directly affecting the livelihoods, health and long-term outcomes of artisanal and small-scale mining communities where ITSCI operates. For more information and to contribute, please visit ITSCI's website.
An estimated 30-50 million of the world’s men, women and children depend on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) for their livelihood. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Bank has estimated that approximately 2 million people rely on ASM to make a living. The work is often done informally and in remote areas, in hazardous conditions with little access to social services, and often subject to violence and predatory behaviour.
Growing international awareness prompted the United States to adopt section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Act that requests US companies to carry out proper due diligence processes for their supply chain when sourcing tin, tantalum and tungsten (3Ts) from the DRC or neighbouring countries. Through this due diligence, companies also ensure that their sourcing practices do not fuel conflict in the Great Lakes Region. The ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative (ITSCI) program was set up to aid companies better respond to these obligations.
To enhance the achievements and significant impact of the ITSCI program, the Scaling Up ITSCI project was put in place and is now helping secure livelihoods of 3T miners by bringing formalization to the artisanal sector and increasing transparency and best practice in the extraction and trade of minerals from the Great Lakes Region in Africa.
The ITSCI Field Process
ITSCI (the ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative) is part of a traceability and due diligence program designed to address concerns over 'conflict minerals' such as tin, tantalum and tungsten from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries. The ITSCI system was established by ITRI (now called the International Tin Association) and T.I.C, who represent the Governance Committee for the ITSCI program.
The ITSCI system allows more than 50,000 miners to access markets for their tin, tantalum and tungsten, which are used in smartphones, tablets and other products, notably in the electronics industry. The system assists companies in complying with national and international regulations. It is implemented by governments, is largely self-funded by the industry and is monitored by civil society and independent auditors.
The following scheme shows a simplified version of the ITSCI program at the field level, however there are more components to the overall program (including an audit of participating companies and a data management system). For more information, please visit www.pactworld.org/mining and www.itsci.org.
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