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Child labour in small-scale mining

Child labour was tackled in a session of the Global Forum on artisanal and small-scale mining. The forum, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme was held in Manila on 7-9 December 2010. The identified challenges and opportunities in smallscale mining. It also discussed the use of mercury in small-scale mining. UNEP is preparing a legally binding global instrument on mercury and plans to pass it prior to the 27th session of its Governing Council in 2013.

The ILO Country Office for the Philippines, through its Towards a Child-Labour Free Philippines programme, was invited as main presenter in the child labour panel session.

ILO-International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) is currently implementing a project against child labour, supported by the United States Department of Labor and covers four priority provinces, namely: Quezon, Masbate, Northern Samar and Bukidnon. Child labour in small-scale mining is present in three of these provinces based on the project’s initial scoping activities.


ILO-IPEC considered the forum as an opportunity to promote the agenda of eliminating child labour particularly in small-scale mining. It also served as venue to build partnerships and explore possible collaboration with forum participants.

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