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Developing Countries: Mining

Department for International Development written question – answered on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

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.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

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.

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