Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group and Co-Chair of the Global Battery Alliance, recently confirmed that Eurasian Resources Group contributed to the Fund for the Prevention of Child Labour in Mining Communities. Programmed and administered by UNICEF, the Fund is implemented in co-operation with civil society organisations and government agencies in the DRC.
A Global Battery Alliance Collaboration, the Fund will support projects throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), strengthening local communities and addressing the root causes of child labour. Mr Sobotka explained that Eurasian Resources Group encourages industry participants and stakeholders to join the Global Battery Alliance in its mission, and pledge support to the Fund.
The Fund for the Prevention of Child Labour in Mining Communities seeks to address child labour in cobalt mines throughout the DRC via a multi-sectoral package of interventions.
The Fund supports several UN Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 1: No Poverty; and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. In addition to addressing the issue of child labour, the Fund also aims to alleviate poverty and improve social services for children across the region.
Concentrating its activities on the country’s copper belt, the Fund for the Prevention of Child Labour in Mining Communities aims to eradicate child labour in mining across six DRC health zones. In a press release dated 16th November 2020, UNICEF announced its collaboration with the Global Battery Alliance, with the ultimate aim of raising US$21 million from private and public partners over the next three years.
UNICEF pledged to use the funding to finance a series of initiatives addressing the root causes of child labour in mining communities. Concentrating its activities in the Haut-Katanga and Lualaba provinces, the initiative is fully aligned with the DRC’s national development priorities. The Fund will support both government and civil society-led initiatives, strengthening local services including education, healthcare, birth registration and education.
The programme will also help strengthen the capacity of social workers to identify, respond to, and prevent children being negatively impacted by mining operations, providing enhanced social protection systems in mining communities.
About the Global Battery Alliance
The Global Battery Alliance is a public and private collaboration bringing together more than 80 organisations. Founded in 2017, the Alliance’s principle aim is to help create a sustainable battery value chain.
Creating a circular and responsible battery value chain could pave the way to achieving the 2°C Paris Agreement goal in the power and transport sectors. Experts predict that batteries could facilitate 30% of required CO2 reductions in the power and transport sectors by 2030, delivering electricity to 600 million people, as well as creating 10 million sustainable and safe jobs globally. To realise this vast potential, the battery value chain will need to expand by 19 times over the next ten years, making industrywide action crucial.