May 16 | Side Event on Addressing Child Labour in ASM at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour

Cobalt is a key ingredient to power the rechargeable lithium batteries used in millions of products, and as such is an essential mineral for the green transition. Despite controversy surrounding cobalt soured via Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) in global supply chains, ASM is an essential lifeline for over 200,000 workers and families in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where most of the world’s supply of cobalt is sourced from. Child labour is prevalent in cobalt ASM in the DRC, with 1 in 6 children in ASM communities working in hazardous work. Children in these ASM communities face an education crisis, gender inequalities, exposure to air-borne pollutants from the mines, a high risk of road accidents and poor psychological health, driven by negative emotions including stress, worry and anger. 


This session will draw on recent research from Save the Children in Germany and Netherlands and The Centre for Child Rights and Business (The Centre) to explore how companies and financial institutions can play an active role in addressing the severe child labour and child rights risks in Cobalt ASM in the DRC. 


The session will:


  • Shed light on the current situation of children in Cobalt ASM communities and opportunities for companies and investors to improve child rights in the extractives sector

  • Highlight which actions are necessary to accelerate action to address the root causes of child labour in Cobalt ASM communities, from prevention to remediation 

  • Present case studies from financial institutions working to address child labour and child rights risks in the extractives industry (with a specific focus on cobalt) 



Moderator: Mark Robertson, Mark Robertson, Senior Vice President, The Centre 


Panel speakers: 

  • Kees Gootjes, Business & Human Rights Advisor, ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

  • David Sturmes, Director for Programme and Business Development at The Impact Facility

  • Gillian Davidson, Sustainability Advisor, Eurasian Resources Group

  • Ines Kaempfer, CEO, The Centre for Child Rights and Business

Additional speakers on cobalt study findings: 

  • Anne Reiner, Senior Manager Sustainable Supply Chains, Save the Children Germany

  • Josje Beukema, Lobby & Advocacy officer Children's Rights & Business, Save the Children Netherlands

Time and Date: Monday, May 16 from 16:45 - 17:45 Durban Time / 22:45 - 23:45 Hong Kong / 15:45 - 16:45 London / 16:45 - 17:45 Berlin / 10:45 - 11:45 am New York

Access: Click here to join via Zoom

Published on 16/05/2022

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