Use of child-mined gold by the electronics sector

This research reveals that the amount of children working in artisanal gold mining is rapidly increasing. In Mali for example, there was an estimated increase from 20.000 to 200.000 children working in artisanal gold mining the last couple of years. Worldwide, more than one million children work in artisanal mining.

The electronics industry is the third largest user of gold to produce mobile phones, computers and other consumer electronics. The electronics sector does not take any step to eradicate child labour from goldmining, while the probability is high that this gold ends up in their products. Although the sector has proven to be capable to set up and lead initiatives that concern the far end of their production chain, in the case of conflict minerals.

The researchers studied the magnitude and seriousness of child labour in artisanal gold mining. They also seeked to establish the relation between gold mining, including supply chain linkages, with the electronics sector. To this end, a field study in Mali examined the conditions of child workers at the artisanal gold mining sites.

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publication cover - Gold from children’s hands