Posted on: 11 April 2016
The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime
and Babson College’s Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery present their webinar on
Illicit goods in the supply chain (Minerals)
In illegal mining, there is a high incidence of human trafficking for forced labour, including a system in which debt bondage is achieved by providing workers with advances or start-up capital. Workers in the mining sector are employed under extremely dangerous conditions, including exposure to toxic substances and severe illnesses, and that women and children tend to be more vulnerable to exploitation.
The challenges of due diligence in, for example, the gold trading process are faced at every point in the supply chain; from ensuring that gold has been extracted not only legally, but also complying with international human rights and labour standards and /or does not fuel armed conflicts, to retail buyers taking the sourcing of their gold into consideration.
While the World Gold Council Conflict-Free Standard is designed to ensure gold producers mine responsibly, it is also very important that the whole supply chain is sustainable and does not contribute to conflict. For instance, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) – the international trade association that represents the market for gold and silver bullion – has developed Responsible Gold Guidance standards for refiners that lay out due-diligence processes that refiners need to follow, in line with the OECD Guidance on Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected areas.
What are the most promising practices to eradicate human trafficking from the supply chains within the mining industry, including gold and other minerals? How does labour exploitation in the mining industry relate to other forms of human trafficking and illicit trade? What laws specifically address human trafficking related to the mining industry and where can improvements be made to further create public policy? And how can academia assist in research around this critical industry? This webinar will focused on these questions and more in a two-hour discussion.
This webinar was the third in a series entitled “The Private Sector Countering Human Trafficking” looking at emerging issues surrounding human trafficking and promising anti-trafficking initiatives from the private sector. This series is hosted by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime and Babson College’s Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. Also supported by TraCCC, the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University.
The panel featured expert speakers drawn from the private sector, academia, public policy, and non-governmental organisations:
- Quinn Kepes, Program Director, Verité
- Kristin Wiebe, Technical Advisor, Human Trafficking Standards Initiative (HTSI), a project of RESOLVE
- Hubert Lacey III, Research Advisor, Human Trafficking Standards Initiative (HTSI), a project of RESOLVE
- Rob Lederer, Executive Director, Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC)
- Michael Posner, Co-Director, Center for Business and Human Rights, NYU Stern School of Business (moderator)
For more information:
Livia Wagner of the Global Initiative Secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image copyright: Nils Krauer and Quickgold.ru