Towards a sustainable and responsible mineral supply chain

ILO joins hands with key stakeholders of the mining sector in China in promoting socially responsible labour practices in the mineral supply chain

Press release | 27 September 2023
Beijing, China (ILO News) Responsible Business Practices are important for all sectors but all the more so for mining and mineral sectors. This is because this sector is a crucial source of growth, employment and income, with direct impacts on environment. At the same time, mining is also a high-risk sector, if not properly managed, it can cause social and environmental damages, with lasting negative impacts on our community and our planet. As the most important producer and processor of critical minerals across the globe, China has an unparalleled position in reshaping the global environment and labour practices of the mineral supply chain in line with universally recognized principles and values.

Mr Chang Hee Lee, Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia
To respond to the environment and social challenges of the mineral supply chain, the ILO welcomes collaboration with China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters (CCCMC) in building the capacity of the Chinese mining companies in promoting responsible labour practices in their supply chains.

Speaking at the 2023 International Forum on Sustainable Mineral Supply Chains, Chang-Hee Lee, Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, encouraged the CCCMC and its member companies to fully leverage on their global outreach, experience and wisdom in addressing environmental and social challenges and making differences for decent work in the supply chains. Jiang Hui, President of CCCMC, also called on the key stakeholders of the mineral supply chain to take concerted actions in responding to the global challenge of just transition and green upgrading.

2023 International Forum on Sustainable Mineral Supply Chains
At a Seminar on Promoting Decent Work in the Mineral Supply Chains, which was co-hosted by ILO and Responsible Critical Minerals Initiative during the Forum, leaders and experts from the government, social organizations and academia highlighted the importance of socially responsible labour practices, clarified the responsibilities of government and enterprises in promoting decent work in supply chains and shared useful tools and good practices on building sound labour relations through social dialogue.

In February 2023, the ILO adopted the ILO strategy on decent work in supply chains, aiming at addressing root causes and drivers of decent work deficits. On the topic of responsible business conducts, the two most important ILO guidance documents are the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the ILO MNE Declaration. The ILO has also developed many tools to help multinational enterprises respect international labour standards and promote responsible business conducts in their supply chains. More information and tools can be accessed at: ILO Helpdesk for Business on International Labour Standards (Helpdesk for business).