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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the safety of people employed mining rare earth metals in developing countries.
The UK is working tirelessly to promote responsible and safe practices in working environments globally. The UK is fully supportive of the core principles of the Decent Work Agenda as enshrined by the core rights outlined in the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
The UK provides support to initiatives such as the UN Global Compact and the Ethical Trade Initiative who work to ensure jobs in global supply chains are high quality ones, where human rights are respected, and health and safety is safeguarded.
The UK is committed to supporting compliance with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. The implementation of this guidance will be made mandatory for the biggest importers in the EU via the EU Regulation on the Responsible Sourcing of Conflict Minerals. This will come into force in January 2021. The UK will continue to implement this regulation after leaving the EU as it will be rolled over into UK Law via the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.