During a two-day policy dialogue on gender rights and child labour in the mining industry held in Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti state, by Women In Mining Nigeria (WIMIN), the stakeholders in Nigeria have been tasked with coordinating efforts to end child labour and gender-based abuse in the mining industry. In her introductory remarks at the event, WIMIN President and Founder Janet Adeyemi stated that the mining industry has long been afflicted by various complicated problems that jeopardize the rights and welfare of individuals employed in it.
The WIMN, which was represented by Dennis Deloraine, the group’s program coordinator, stated that they needed to work together to address these problems and develop a more just and sustainable mining industry that upheld the rights of all parties involved. With an estimate of about one million children working in mines around the world, the problem of child labour has grown to be of significant concern. The difficulties faced by women in these communities are further exacerbated by the persistence of gender prejudice and assault.
There is a need to work towards a right-protected future.
She noted that the conversation is a crucial step in accomplishing the goal. Whenever it comes to protecting the rights of women and children in the mining industry, they can offer solutions that are not only feasible but also successful. They have the potential to have a beneficial effect on the lives of people in the mining industry who are at the most significant risk. There is a need to work towards a future in which women’s rights are protected, the use of child labour is eradicated, and the mining industry functions in a way that is both environmentally responsible and socially acceptable.
Furthermore, the policy dialogue’s primary purpose is to convene stakeholders from the industries to address barriers that have kept women behind in the solid mineral industry. As a result of marginalization, women in Nigeria are increasingly the targets of sexual and gender-based violence. The WIMIN requested the key stakeholders to examine the group’s policies and practices in the sector, uncover the shortcomings, the drivers, and the facilitators of S/GBV occurrences in Ekiti State, and develop a strategy to address the problem.
NHRC and WIMIN are also collaboratively on the matter.
Mr. Biodun Adigun, the National Human Rights Commission’s Ekiti State Coordinator, also expressed dismay at the mining industry’s comparatively reported human rights abuses. Represented by Mr. Bayo Babalola, the commission’s Public Affairs Officer in the state, he said that NHRC and WIMIN are already working collaboratively. He said that the women’s group had also initially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commission in Abuja and that this had since been expanded to encompass the state office in Ekiti.
While the partnership with the group will be strengthened and consolidated, the commission and other key parties are also currently trying to figure out how to make use of the recently released reporting App for submitting reports of issues relating to the violation of women’s rights in the mining industry. And to examine other options for ensuring that the commission often receives complaints about the mistreatment of women in the mining industry from the general public.
Women’s and children’s rights are to be safeguarded by policies and laws.
Moreover, Mr. Biodun Oyeleye, one of the event facilitators, emphasize the need to safeguard women from abuse in the mining industry and elsewhere as a matter of human rights. He pointed out that studies have shown that women are the most affected by economic liberation and that it is crucial to protect their rights since they are the ones who will ultimately raise the next generation. When their rights are safeguarded, they can focus on livelihoods and human rights. When it comes to violence against women, the administration in Ekiti state takes a firm stance. Their rights are safeguarded by policies and laws.