Child Rights and Mining Toolkit

Best practices for addressing children’s issues in large-scale mining

Mr and Mrs. Kebo Bouquet stand with some of their grandchildren outside their home, near the south-eastern town of Mirebalais in Central Plateau Department.


The Children’s Rights and Business Principles developed by UNICEF, the United Nations Global Compact and Save the Children, in 2012, are the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights. As part of its approach to implementing these principles, UNICEF is developing sector-specific guidance for businesses that are aiming to integrate respect and support for children’s rights into their policies, operations, due diligence, relationships with governments and investments in local communities.

In 2014, UNICEF commissioned action research with mining companies to identify and analyse the sector’s impacts on children’s rights and better understand how companies are currently managing these impacts. In consultation with multiple mining companies, this work resulted in the UNICEF Extractive Pilot report, Children’s Rights and the Mining Sector.

Companies in the mining sector almost uniformly agree that children are vulnerable stakeholders within the community. But they often encounter challenges in understanding how children could be affected directly, rather than only as a result of mining impacts on adult family members or the broader community. Failing to consider children as distinctive stakeholders means that companies may not identify their specific impacts on children. This leads to critical gaps in most standard approaches to social, environmental and human rights due diligence and management systems.

As a follow-up to the Extractive Pilot, UNICEF commissioned Synergy Global Consulting to develop practical guidance for mining companies that want to take concrete steps in addressing their potential positive or negative child rights impacts. UNICEF’s Child Rights and Mining Toolkit is the result of this work.

Because children are affected by a wide range of issues, a comprehensive business approach will consider child rights throughout the company’s management systems and strategies.

The Toolkit is designed to assist any of those in the mining sector who are responsible for designing and implementing strategies related to social and environmental performance at the project level. It provides 10 concise tools for improving social and environmental performance towards respecting and advancing children’s rights in the following areas:

  1. Impact assessment
  2. Stakeholder engagement
  3. Resettlement
  4. In-migration
  5. Environment
  6. Security
  7. Health and safety
  8. Working conditions
  9. Protecting children from sexual violence
  10. Social investment
Child Rights and Mining Toolkit

Files available for download