This is the final thematic report of James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, to the Human Rights Council. Building upon previous reports, it addresses the human rights concerns of indigenous peoples relating to extractive industries.
This report examines child labor and exposure to mercury in small-scale gold mining in Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer. It documents the harmful effects of mining on children, including its impact on the enjoyment of their rights to health, education, and protection from violence and abuse. The report focuses on hard rock mining, whereby small-scale miners remove and process rocks from pits to extract the ore. Human Rights Watch conducted research in Chunya district (southern Tanzania), in Geita and Kahama districts (northwestern Tanzania), and in the cities of Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, and Mbeya.
Artisanal and small-scale mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an economic activity upon which an estimated 12 to 15 percent of the population relies,2 often involves child labor. The complex economic and societal considerations that drive children to work in the cassiterite, coltan, and wolfram mines in the northern parts of the country’s Katanga province are complex. Pact undertook this study to better understand the motivating factors and the context that lead children to work in mines. Insights from this research enable Pact and others to implement appropriate, realistic interventions for child miners in the DRC.