From 10 to 21 May 2021, ITSCI collaborated with Action for Education and the Defense of Human Rights (APEDDH) and the Rwanda Mines Board (RMB) on a new initiative to build capacity among members of District Mining Task Forces committees in 9 Rwandan districts. The aim was to reinforce committee members’ technical knowledge and discuss human rights issues and working conditions in the mining sector. Informal mining was one of the key topics discussed during the event. ITSCI emphasised issues related to child labour, gender, and the environment, and RMB encouraged local communities to report cases of abuse using their toll-free number (2930). Highlighting efforts to help workers review their contracts, RMB stressed the importance of ensuring miners are aware of their rights. To expand on the topics and reflecting on its work with civil society, APEDDH argued that the lack of contracts between companies and employees and limited outreach from mining companies to the populations living around mine sites undermines workers’ rights.
The event proved a fruitful forum for identifying gaps and needs to build a stronger 3T mining sector to benefit miners and Rwanda’s economy. Participants encouraged companies to comply with due diligence, create employment in communities in which they operate, pay wages through banks, and use modern equipment to avoid accidents and protect the environment.
ITSCI will continue to collaborate with RMB, APEDDH, and other partners on the ground to foster ongoing dialogue in mining communities.