Stakeholders in the Nigerian mining sector have been charged to double up efforts to eliminate violations of child rights and sexual and gender-based violence in the sector.
The charge was given in Bauchi by the president and founder, Women in Mining Nigeria (WIMIN), Janet Adeyemi, at the opening of a two-day policy dialogue on gender rights and child labour in the sector, organised by the association for stakeholders in the mining sector in Bauchi State.
Adeyemi said the mining sector is faced with a range of challenges, particularly those that concerned the protection of child rights and the promotion of gender equality.
Adeyemi, represented by an executive member of WIMIN, Regina Edzuwah, said though the sector was one of the key contributors to Nigeria’s economic development through the generation of revenues and job creation, women and children are working under intolerable conditions at mining sites.
According to Adeyemi: “There is a need for people of influence in the sector to take action to support women who have become victims of those in power. These women have been hamstrung by systemic indoctrination that they have no place in the mining sector.
“This policy dialogue aims to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including government officials, civil society organisations, industry representatives and mining communities, to discuss and identify policy measures that can promote gender equality and child rights in the mining sector in Bauchi State.”
On her part, the Bauchi State coordinator of WIMIN, Hajiya Nafiza Hassan, appealed to women in the mining sector in the state to bring to the front burner challenges that they and children experience at mining sites, adding that the harassment and exploitation of women and children at sites are becoming a source of concern.