August 28, 2013

VII. Recommendations

To the Tanzanian Government

The Ministry of Labour and Employment

  • Ensure labor officers identify child labor in mining through regular and systematic visits to licensed and unlicensed small-scale mines and rigorous interviews with employees to determine their ages. They should take steps to withdraw, rehabilitate, and integrate children involved in mining and other worst forms of child labor. Labor officers should issue compliance orders to employers who use child labor and initiate legal action where necessary. Government measures must respect human rights and should not lead to retribution or punishments that exceed the penalties outlined in the mining regulations, the Law of the Child Act, and the Employment and Labour Relations Act.
  • Ensure labor officers, in coordination with social welfare officers and other relevant ministries, withdraw and rehabilitate children who have been commercially sexually exploited in mining areas, and take steps to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators.
  • As part of annual reports, measure and publish the number of children withdrawn from mining and other worst forms of child labor, as well as the number of compliance orders issued to employers for using child labor.
  • Work collaboratively with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals so that mining officials inform labor officers of large informal sites with child labor. Labor officers should also accompany mining officials to large gold rush sites to inspect for child labor.
  • Increase the number of labor officers and create incentives to minimize turnover. Train all inspectors on child labor issues, and ensure they have sufficient resources such as vehicles and fuel to visit the mines.
  • Implement the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labour and track its success.
  • Conduct a new national survey on child labor in Tanzania.
  • Train mining officials, social welfare officers, community development officers, and other relevant government officials on child labor. Clarify the responsibilities of all divisions and departments who have an obligation to act on child labor.
  • Conduct awareness-raising and outreach on the hazards of child labor in mining, in conjunction with other relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Gender, Development and Children, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Outreach should target small-scale miners in licensed and unlicensed mines, artisanal mining associations, and parents in artisanal mining communities.

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals

Child Labor in Small-Scale Gold Mining

  • Explicitly address child labor and mercury exposure in current efforts to promote the development and professionalization of artisanal mining, including through the government-led ‘Strategy to Support Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Development’.
  • Train mining officials to fully enforce current laws prohibiting child labor in mining.
  • If child labor is found on licensed mines, require Primary Mining License (PML) holders to end the use of child labor. Conduct follow-up inspections and impose penalties such as fines, in accordance with mining regulations, if employers fail to remove child labor.
  • If child labor is found on unlicensed mines—which are not covered by mining regulations—remind employers of child labor laws and encourage them to comply. Inform the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further inspection and penalties.
  • Inform the Ministry of Labour and Employment about the location of unlicensed gold rush sites where large numbers of children may be working.
  • Request managers on licensed mines to document the ages of all the employees working on the site.
  • Strengthen efforts to formalize the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector by, for example, investigating and removing potential obstacles to obtaining a PML, increasing the pace at which land becomes available to unlicensed miners, and disseminating information about land available for small-scale gold mining. However, as part of these efforts, the government should not engage in a mass clampdown of unlicensed mining activity.
  • Join the National Intersectoral Coordination Committee on Child Labor to highlight issues and propose strategies to address child labor in mining.
  • Allow mining officials to focus on inspecting mines for compliance with mining regulations and use other members of staff to collect revenues from the mines.
  • Revise the mining regulations so that brokers and dealers are required to have child labor due diligence procedures in place.
  • Urge gold traders and companies to eliminate child labor from their supply chain, to support child labor programs, and to stop buying gold from children.

Mercury Use in Small-Scale Gold Mining

  • Prioritize ending the most harmful practices of mercury use on licensed mines, including the use of mercury by children, burning the amalgam in residential areas, and burning the amalgam in the open. Conduct research to identify and address factors contributing to unsafe practices.
  • Enforce current regulations that require the use of retorts and protective gear. Work to supply retorts to miners that are affordable, capable of being replaced, and sensitive to miners’ preferences.
  • Conduct research and facilitate discussions with small-scale miners on the use of mercury alternatives.
  • Continue to introduce mercury-free gold extraction techniques.
  • Replace individual environmental action plans with a clear checklist of basic environmental practices that all small-scale miners should follow.
  • Raise awareness on the most harmful uses of mercury, in particular the use of mercury by children and pregnant women, among community members, health officials, and relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  • Draft a national action plan on the reduction of mercury in small-scale mining that prioritizes activities to reduce the risk to the most vulnerable populations, such as children and pregnant women living and working in artisanal mining areas. The plan should be developed in close consultation with Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) working on child labor in artisanal mining, environmental NGOs, experts and UN agencies.

The Ministry of Education

  • Instruct district officials to investigate and eliminate illegal primary school contributions to ensure that they do not thwart access to education in mining areas. Continue to invest in improving school infrastructure and facilities to minimize the need for schools to charge additional expenses.
  • Increase support to orphans and other vulnerable children so they can enroll in primary and post-primary education.
  • Invest in afterschool activities such as sports and games to help encourage attendance and discourage children from going to the mines after class.
  • Increase access to post-primary education in mining areas by providing opportunities to students who fail the Primary School Leaving Examination to retake the test and compete for a place at a secondary school and by increasing the number of vocational training opportunities available to students after primary school.
  • Continue to expand nurseries and other early learning and childcare institutions so young children do not have to accompany their parents to the mines.

The Department of the Environment Vice President’s Office

  • Amend the National Strategic Plan for Mercury Management, in consultation with small-scale miners, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and civil society, in accordance with the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The plan should include a strong health response with provisions for periodic data-gathering on mercury levels (possibly in conjunction with other research where blood samples are collected), training for health workers on the health effects of mercury, and using health officials to carry out awareness-raising activities.
  • Launch and implement the plan as soon as possible and focus on taking immediate steps to reduce exposure to mercury, particularly among children, and train health officials to recognize symptoms of extreme mercury poisoning.
  • Lead efforts to ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

  • Develop a comprehensive health sector response to mercury exposure in mining areas with a particular focus on child health. This program should seek the input of occupational health and mercury experts. In particular:
    • Train medical personnel on mercury intoxication;
    • Increase the health system’s capacity to carry out biomonitoring of mercury levels in urine in mining areas, and mercury in blood, hair, and breast milk in at least one reference laboratory;
    • Increase the health system’s capacity to diagnose mercury poisoning and mercury-related health conditions;
    • Increase the health system’s capacity to treat the effects of mercury exposure and poisoning;
    • Raise awareness of the health risks of mercury use in small-scale mining at child health and antenatal clinics;
    • Start a pilot program for testing and, to the extent possible, treatment of children’s mercury levels in a small-scale mining area with the goal of expanding it to all affected areas.
  • Improve access to primary healthcare for children and reproductive health education and services on HIV/tuberculosis in small-scale mining areas through, for example, well equipped mobile clinics with skilled healthcare workers.
  • Ensure that girls who are victims of sexual violence and commercial sexual exploitation have access to post rape healthcare, including post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV.
    • Encourage social welfare officers and other parasocial workers to identify and protect girls who work in mining from sexual abuse.
    • Implement the new National Costed Plan of Action for Most Vulnerable Children, which aims to strengthen the capacity of communities and local government actors to protect the most vulnerable children, including children involved in the worst forms of child labor, and ensure their access to health, education, and other child protection services.

The Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children

  • Take action to end commercial sexual exploitation and assist the victims, as part of efforts to develop and implement the National Plan of Action to Prevent and Respond to Violence against Children. In particular, activities should include legal assistance, appropriate health and counseling services, and access to education, vocational training, or other social reintegration measures for victims.

The Government Chemist Laboratory Agency, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

  • Take steps to prevent the illegal trade of mercury by investigating and acting on the sources of illegal mercury and by enforcing laws that require mercury traders to apply for a permit.
  • Work with donors to conduct periodic surveillance on mercury exposure and intoxication in artisanal communities with a particular focus on child health. To minimize the amount of resources used, these initiatives may be carried out as part of other research that collects blood and urine.

The Ministry of Finance

  • Allocate finances for the implementation of the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labor, the National Strategic Plan on Mercury Management, the National Costed Action Plan on the Most Vulnerable Children, and the National Plan of Action to Prevent and Respond to Violence against Children.

To Local and Village Authorities

  • Adopt bylaws that provide village officials legal authority to act when they find child labor in mining.

To Artisanal Miners’ Associations

  • Develop a code of conduct or policy for Tanzania’s artisanal gold mining sector, obliging members to undertake measures towards the elimination of child labor in artisanal gold mining and to take action on mercury. Monitor the use of child labor and mercury on members’ mines.

To Large-Scale Gold Mining Companies

  • Develop programs to address child labor and mercury use in small-scale mining, in consultation with local government, NGOs, and regional miners’ associations, as part of community engagement strategies.
  • Consider becoming involved in the Multi-Stakeholder Partnership with the government and World Bank. Fund pilot projects to remove children from small-scale gold mines and reduce mercury exposure through this initiative.

To the African Union

  • As part of the African Union Mining Vision Action Plan, ensure that all artisanal and small-scale mining policies, laws, regulations, standards and codes address child labor and mercury use in small-scale gold mining.
  • The African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of a Child should investigate child labor in small-scale gold mining.

To Donor Countries, the World Bank, and Relevant UN Agencies

  • Provide financial, political, and technical support for the above-mentioned measures. In particular, support:
    • The National Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labor, including to programs for the strengthening of district level child protection systems, and withdrawal of children working in artisanal mines;
    • The third Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF III), a social protection scheme that benefits vulnerable children and that ties cash transfers to regular school;
    • Measures to end the use of mercury by child laborers;
    • Measures to introduce technologies that reduce exposure to mercury in small-scale gold mining, such as retorts;
    • Initiatives to support the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
  • The International Labour Organization should make child labor in artisanal mining a priority issue.
  • The World Bank should ensure that all projects in Tanzania that involve artisanal and small-scale mining, such as the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP) and the Multi-Stakeholder Partnership, include initiatives that are designed to decrease child labor in mining, increase access to education for children from artisanal and small-scale mining families, and reduce the exposure of children and adults to mercury. The impact of these initiatives on child labor and mercury exposure should be explicitly measured through the results frameworks of all relevant projects.

To Tanzanian and International Companies Trading in Tanzanian Artisanal Gold

  • Establish a thorough due diligence process, including regular monitoring, to eliminate child labor in your supply chains. Monitors should be independent and the results of monitoring should be published. Companies should visit artisanal mines to ensure they have accurate information about child labor. If there are reports that child labor is being used, companies should specifically investigate these reports. The due diligence process should also include procedures to address adverse human rights impacts.
  • Where necessary, Tanzania’s government and international companies should train suppliers on how to identify and address child labor.
  • In the event that child labor occurs, companies buying the gold should take action to address the situation. In particular the companies should:
    • Immediately inform government authorities and urge them in writing to take measures to end the use of child labor in small-scale gold mining within a specified timeframe, for example, to seek measurable improvements within one year through labor inspections and improved access to education;
    • Immediately inform suppliers and urge them to take measures to end the use of child labor in their supply chain within a specified timeframe, such as two years, in order to facilitate children’s transition out of work.
  • Encourage and support credible and effective measures to end child labor, for example, through projects that improve access to education and withdraw children from child labor.
  • Develop and publish a code of conduct or policy on child labor if they have not done so yet. Implementation of such a code or policy should be independently monitored by a credible third party.
  • Cooperate with associations of gold miners to develop a sector-wide code of conduct on child labor in Tanzania’s small-scale mines.