09 May 2019

The extractive sector and child rights

This brochure is for companies, civil society organisations and policy makers who want to ensure that Madagascar’s mineral wealth provides its children with security and prosperity today and in the future. It is for all stakeholders who seek to better understand the potentially negative environmental, social and psychological impacts the extractive industry can have on children and who are committed to creating positive outcomes. The brochure outlines ten key spheres in which stakeholders can work together to ensure that the extractive industry’s activities respect and support children’s rights and welfare. It provides a simple three-step process to achieve this. The industrial mining sector in Madagascar has great potential to be a force for improving children’s lives. Through tax revenues, mining companies contribute to children’s access to better health, education and life chances. Through direct employment and boosting of regional economies, they provide income opportunities that allow families to invest in their children’s future. Mining activities affect the whole community: men, women, the elderly and, of course, children. Of these groups, children are often the most vulnerable stakeholders. As childhood is a period of rapid physiological and emotional development, negative impacts on their physical and psychological wellbeing have more severe and longer-lasting effects than for adults. Children are rarely consulted about mining operations, even though they will live with the effects for longer than any other stakeholders. By positioning children as relevant stakeholders, UNICEF’s role is to foster understanding of how mining affects children and then to prompt the extractive industry, civil society and government to work together to create an environment that benefits children and does them no harm.