The International Labour Organization estimates there are 152 million victims of child labour worldwide. Almost half of them, it states, work in hazardous conditions.
The prevalence of child labour is particularly concerning in Africa, where 71 million of these victims are located. Statistically speaking, one in every five children in Africa is engaged in child labour. At Glencore, we are actively investing in ways to combat this.
It goes without saying that we do not tolerate any form of child, forced, or compulsory labour anywhere in our business or our supply chain. We respect and uphold the human rights of all those potentially affected by our business activities - such as women, children, indigenous people and victims of conflict - in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Where we operate in Africa, our operations are working hard to tackle the socio-economic root causes that lead to the high prevalence of child labour. Our businesses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) support a holiday camp programme, with the aim of doing just that.
Since 2016, KCC and MUMI have run educational summer camps in collaboration with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and churches.
The camps run during the school holidays, for about eight weeks in July and August each year. The children receive a meal each day, and participate in a wide range of recreational and educational activities, which include discussions on children’s rights, the importance of education and the risks associated with artisanal mining.
Most importantly, the aim of the camps is to discourage children from engaging in labour activities, such as artisanal mining, and make them and their parents aware of these risks.
In 2016, 6,000 children attended the camp. Since then, the number of children taking part each year has increased rapidly, from 7,900 in 2017 to 9000 in 2018. The most recent camp in 2019 saw a total of 16,300 children attend.
Our KCC operations also support a number of programmes that seek to reduce the negative impacts of artisanal mining, and help people find safer and more productive livelihoods, such as agricultural cooperatives. We also buy goods and services from local businesses to help support local economies.
You’ll find more about our community programmes in the DRC and other regions in our upcoming Human Rights Report.