Delegates at the end of the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI2020) has called on regional blocs and communities to set up a harmonised legislative, administrative and policy standards on health that should be met in all African countries to safeguard the fallouts in the mining sector.

They insisted that (SADC, EAC, ECOWAS, AU) should mainstream legislation, administrative and policies needed to be enforced with the involvement of trade unions, civil society, ex-mine workers and affected communities.

These became the declaration from the AMI2020 which was signed by Mr Brown Motsau, Chair, Steering Committee AMI2020 and made available to the Ghana News Agency.

It called for the need to establish and protect the rights of mineworkers, including calling on governments to ratify and domesticate Convention 176 on Occupational Health and Safety in the mines.

The group demanded that social, health and environmental impact assessment be inclusive of the poor and working people and not only on corporate officials, emphasising that these reports be published for scrutiny.

It denounced endemic violence which was at times enforced by the military in the extractive sector and further called for the mining companies to eliminate violence and deaths related to the corporate capitalist business model;

It called for the need to reduce our consumption of extractive resources and also to stop use of fossil fuels as the carbon levels continue to increase. Companies and governments should shift subsidies from fossil fuels and invest in ‘clean energy’ which have a huge potential to create jobs.

The statement said “Children are victims of the abuses of mining and extractive sectors and we call on governments to establish specialised agencies that deal exclusively with these violations of their fundamental rights. Social safety nets must provide support for vulnerable children particularly those from the rural areas.”

It said artisanal small-scale mining should be recognised in law and policies of countries and ‘must not be criminalised.’

“Gender justice, equity and equality must shape polices and legislation protecting women in the mines and the women in the greater miner communities.”

“As primary food producers, women must be included in the discussions and decision making processes between mining companies and communities with regards to access, ownership and use of land and water.”

It said there is need for Partnership Reviews including Peer Review Mechanisms that include government, business and communities and called for need to build trust, solidarity, partnership, strategic alliances among key non-state actors.

It wanted Carbon tax be introduced as a mitigating factor to safeguard communities from further health and environmental damage.

The declaration said mining companies should not be given tax exemptions for their contribution to social development and services.

It called for unity amongst movements, NGOs and those communities adversely affected and impacted by the extractives sector in general unite through the building of collective action and commit themselves to work together with all who cherish the values of freedom, solidarity and liberation.

The four-day conference was attended by industry players, faith-based and community leaders under the theme, “Environmentally and Sustainable Mineral Economies in the era of Climate Change Catastrophe” and attended by over 500 delegates.

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