Environmental justice group BAN Toxics and Caraga State University are partnering to raise awareness on toxic chemicals for public health and environmental safety. To formalize this move, BAN Toxics and the Mineral Resources Management Research and Training Center of Caraga State University will sign on June 11 a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a joint research venture.
The partnership is for a joint research and development, awareness, and policy advocacy venture on toxic chemicals for public health and environmental safety.
The partnership also aims to streamline Compassionate Gold Technology, Inc., a brand of gold obtained from the Philippine artisanal and small-scale mining (ASGM) sector, produced without child labor and hazardous work, with care for the welfare of the people and mining communities; as well as the environment.
"It puts the welfare of the people, the future of children without child labor, and the planet at the center of artisanal and small-scale gold mining," BAN Toxics said.
Last year, BAN Toxics urged the government again to address the issues on children being forced to work in mine sites.
The group even launched a fundraising campaign to help raise funds to keep children away from mine sites and provide them with enough resources to access food and to stay in school.
Through this effort, 384 child laborers were removed from mine sites in Camarines Norte from 2017 to 2019 and were sent to school. “In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, most, if not all, of the children under the program have returned to mining to help support their families,” BAN Toxics said.
“Our vision of a toxics-free world for our children continues to be our main advocacy. BAN Toxics believes that the promotion and defense of children’s rights should be a priority at all times. Let’s all do what we can to protect our children,” it added.