ChallengesDespite considerable efforts in many countries, the rates of death, injury and disease among the world’s mineworkers remain high, and mining remains the most hazardous occupation when the number of people exposed to risk is taken into account.
Taking action on labour challenges in the mining sectorThe ILO has been dealing with labour and social problems in the mining industry since its early days, making considerable efforts to improve the work and life of miners - from the adoption of the Hours of Work (Coal Mines) Convention (No. 31) in 1931 to the Safety and Health in Mines Convention (No. 176), which was adopted in 1995.
Small-scale miningWhereas work on large-scale formal mining takes a central role in the ILO’s work, small-scale mining has also become an important issue, given that is has been expanding rapidly and often informally in many developing countries. Work in this subsector is guided by the 1999 Conclusions of the ILO tripartite sectoral meeting on small-scale mining, which addressed safety and health, child labour, and environmental issues in small-scale mining.
New developmentsAfter an exceptionally long period of growing commodity prices, important industry actors are foreseeing a slowing down of growth and a possible reduction in production and employment within the industry. If the trend is confirmed, attention will need to be given to finding sustainable solutions for affected mines and their workers.
The ILO and the Bolivian Ministry of Mining and Metallurgy strengthen mining cooperatives for economic recovery with decent work
25 March 2021
COVID-19: Protecting workers in the workplace
14 October 2020
31 March 2020
Codes of practice
Other ILO on-line resources
Environmental integrity and doing business in Zimbabwe: Challenges and engagement of sustainable enterprises
01 April 2020
Convening actors to reduce child labour and improve working conditions in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (CARING GOLD MINING PROJECT): Fact sheet
23 September 2019
12 February 2019