SIA Guidance Document

Guidance for assessing and managing social impacts


Release of the UNICEF Child Rights and Mining Toolkit
19 April 2017
Online, Other Countries

Mining operations often occur in the most disadvantaged areas in the world, encountering some of the most vulnerable children, with profound and diverse impacts. UNICEF research conducted in 2013-14 found that the mining sector can have both adverse and positive impacts on children.  The likelihood, scale and severity of most of these impacts is linked to the nature of the activity and its proximity to local communities.

Currently, the range of impacts on children is not well understood by the mining industry and as such are not being managed. As a result, impacts on children are seen as low risk and therefore not often hardwired into company risk management processes, for example site-based risk registers. However, children will make up the very communities that companies will have to negotiate with in 10 – 20 years’ time. Failing to take impacts on children seriously where and when they occur jeopardizes the ability for companies to secure the support of the next generation.

In order to address this knowledge and management gap, UNICEF has developed the  ‘Child Rights and Mining Toolkit. Best practices for addressing children’s issues in large-scale mining’ which includes key actions and indicators to consider for integrating child rights into impact assessments, stakeholder engagement processes and to address salient impacts including in relation to in-migration, resettlement, safety and health, security, environment, community investment initiatives.

Link to the Toolkit:
Release of the Child Rights and Security Checklist
Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the impact of security arrangements in the context of extractive activities. The risks to children can arise through the actions of public and private security personnel and entities, and might occur during the course of security activities when dealing with community protests, trespassing, theft, vandalism and artisanal mining. As a result, children may be recruited and used by private and public security or suffer other human rights violation at the hands of security personnel including sexual exploitation, injury or harm  outside of and during investigation, arrest and detention.  The harm to children is further compounded when legal and judicial systems do not adequately protect the rights of children during detention, sentencing or imprisonment in accordance with international standards.
In 2016, a multi-stakeholder working group of companies, governments, civil society organizations and expert consultants came together to bring focus to children as a distinct stakeholder group in relation to extractive sector security-related impacts. Building on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights framework, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, the group developed the Child Rights and Security Checklist. 
The Checklist is designed to help governments and companies assess the extent to which their security frameworks are attentive to and protective of children’s rights. The Checklist can be used by both extractive and non-extractive companies to identify, improve, and create greater stakeholder confidence in their protection of children’s rights within their security programs. The Checklist can be used in the same way by governments as a means of maintaining accountability for their public security agencies. The Checklist overall aims to help companies and governments in reducing security-related human rights violations against children and young people around the world.


As part of the next phase, the working group will focus on the development of models, examples, guidance and training materials, to help public and private security providers implement the items identified in the Checklist.

Link to the Checklist: 
Contact Details:
Name: United Nations Children’s Fund
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