WiM-Africa Launches Campaign Against Child Mining

A group that promotes the rights of women and children involved in the mining value chain on the continent, Women in Mining Africa (WiM-Africa), has launched a programme to protect children from the hazards of mining operations,

The programme, named “Voices of Children from the Pits” programme, whose official launch took place on June 14, 2024, had participants from WiM-Africa implementing partners from Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Mali, and South Africa, while other delegates joined from Angola, DR Congo, Sierra Leone, London and the United States of America.

During the event, partners shared their implementation plans and highlighted their track records in advocating for the rights and welfare of women and children.

The well-attended launch event was followed by a strategic meeting in Abuja on June 25, 2024, where WiM-Africa met with its Implementing Partner in Nigeria, Richflood Foundation, and media representatives to discuss the take-off of the “Voices of Children from the Pits” programme in Nigeria.

Executive director of Women in Mining Africa (WiM-Africa), Dr. Comfort Asokoro-Ogaji, said the launch of the ‘Voices of Children from the Pits’ programme marks a significant milestone in the group’s mission to protect and empower the most vulnerable children in mining communities.

She said this programme will not only remove children from hazardous mine sites but will also engage stakeholders in raising awareness and gathering critical data about the children affected.

“Our collective work with implementing partners across Africa is crucial in driving sustainable change and ensuring the well-being of women and children in the mining sector,” she added.

According to her, WiM-Africa is committed to advocating for gender equality in the mining sector and removing children from hazardous mine sites across Africa.

On her part, the programme coordinator at Richflood Foundation, Nigeria, Dr. Adeola Adewale Olajugbagbe, said the initiative was a vital step towards eradicating child labour in mines, fostering safe and supportive environments for children, and engaging stakeholders in meaningful dialogue.

“No child should be found working at the mines,” she said, adding that through increased awareness and comprehensive data gathering about the children, the collaboration aims to create lasting impacts on the lives of children who are affected by mining activities.

She stated: “Our commitment to this cause is unwavering, and we look forward to seeing the positive changes this programme will bring.”

In attendance at the strategic meeting were representatives from Women in Mining Africa, Richflood Foundation, and media organisations.

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