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Eurasian Resources Group issues its Action Pledge in support of the United Nation’s International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour
Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG” or “The Group”), a leading diversified natural resources group headquartered in Luxembourg, has submitted an Action Pledge to accelerate efforts to eradicate child labour worldwide in support of the UN’s designation of 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Administered by the International Labour Organisation and the Alliance 8.7, the Action Pledge strengthens ERG’s commitment to eliminate child labour in the cobalt mining sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where c. 40,000 children are engaged in mining activity, including in the extraction of cobalt, crucial to lithium-ion batteries and the transition to a low carbon economy.
The Group’s targeted community investment strategy is focused on keeping 2000 children out of artisanal and small-scale mining in 2021, and ERG is continuing to implement controls to ensure that its operations are in no way connected to child labour.
ERG has been committed to this action for a number of years and will continue supporting the Good Shepherd International Foundation (GSIF), an organisation it has partnered with since 2017, through Bon Pasteur Kolwezi programme, to keep an ever-increasing number of children out of mining.
As the founding member of the Global Battery Alliance (GBA), ERG will continue playing a leadership role in raising awareness through action across the battery value chain, focusing on Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for eradicating modern slavery, trafficking, and child labour. At the end of 2020, the Group was among the first organisations to contribute to the Fund for the Prevention of Child Labour in Mining Communities - A Global Battery Alliance Collaboration, aiming to raise a total of US$ 21 million over the next three years to fund a series of initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of child labour in DRC mining communities.
Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, commented: “The elimination of child labour is crucial to the Group’s wider efforts to help ensure a safe and sustainable future for mining communities in the DRC. At ERG, we are fully committed to ending poor working conditions and child labour through our collaborative efforts like the Global Battery Alliance and our support of organisations like the Good Shepherd International Foundation. For 2021, we have envisioned new steps to fight child labour in mining, including signing a new multi-year agreement with the GSIF to expand their support network to new communities in the DRC and developing initiatives like the Battery Passport from the GBA, which promises a fully traceable, ethical and sustainable battery supply chain.”
The Pledge is available in full below:
“An estimated 40,000 children are directly engaged in mining in the DRC (source: Unicef) including cobalt, which is essential to lithium-ion batteries and the transition to a low carbon economy. At Eurasian Resources Group, we are committed to ending child labour and pledge to continue support of organisations working to remove children from mining in the communities surrounding our Metalkol RTR operation near Kolwezi, DRC. We will target our community investment strategy with the goal of keeping 2000 children out of artisanal and small-scale mining in 2021 and continuing to implement controls to ensure our operations are in no way connected to child labour.”
More details regarding the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour can be found on www.endchildlabour2021.org. Additional information regarding Eurasian Resources Group’s efforts to protect children from forced labour and ensure the sustainability of the battery value chain can be found on its website.