New Report: Risk Analysis of Indicators of Forced Labor and Human Trafficking in Illegal Gold Mining in Peru
Peru is one of the largest gold producers in the world—the fifth largest, if illegally produced gold is taken into account. Hundreds of thousands of people are employed in Peru in artisanal gold mining and peripheral services. With the support of Humanity United, Verité mapped production areas and the supply chain of Peruvian gold, consulted with experts from NGOs, government, and academia, and conducted interviews with almost 100 mine workers, and workers providing peripheral services (including mechanics, cooks, sex workers, transporters, and others). In the the course of these interviews, workers told us horrendous stories of labor and sexual exploitation in Peru.
There are a number of factors that make the gold sector in Peru vulnerable to forced labor: primarily, the prevalence of illegal gold mining. Its illegality results in a black hole, in which miners operate in areas that are not fully under the control of the government.
Verité’s report on risks of forced labor in artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) in Peru raises challenging questions for companies in industries including jewelry, mining, electronics and banking. The report reveals that ASM gold tainted by human rights abuses makes its way—through corruption, laundering and illegal export—into the hands of global traders, refineries, banks and into our watches and smart phones.
Our research on these largely hidden problems is intended to encourage action on the part of stakeholders, including companies, NGOs, governments, and industry associations to raise awareness of the vulnerability to forced labor, as well as actions companies can take to improve their ethical performance.
The following articles appear in our latest newsletter, and provide contexts and highlights of the research:
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