MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on The situation of child labour in mines in Madagascar
11.2.2020 - (2020/2552(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure
Helmut Scholz, Pernando Barrena Arza, Anja Hazekamp, Konstantinos Arvanitis, Petros Kokkalis, Stelios Kouloglou, Manuel Bompard, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Alexis Georgoulis, Elena Kountoura, Nikolaj Villumsen, Younous Omarjee, Anne‑Sophie Pelletier, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Giorgos Georgiou, Niyazi Kizilyürek
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0102/2020
European Parliament resolution on The situation of child labour in mines in Madagascar
The European Parliament,
– having regard to the fundamental ILO core conventions and in particular Conventions on child labour and forced labour,
– having regard to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights,
– having regard to the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy,
– having regard to Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)
– having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2016 on implementation of the 2010 recommendations of Parliament on social and environmental standards, human rights and corporate responsibility;
– having regard to its resolution of 20 July 2017 on the impact of international trade and the EU’s trade policies on global value chains
– having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2016 on corporate liability for serious human rights abuses in third countries;
– having regard to its previous resolutions on Madagascar;
– having regard the Cotonou Agreement, concerning political dialogue and respect for human rights respectively
– having regard to the Council conclusions of 12 May 2016 on the EU and responsible global value chains;
– having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 June 2016 on Child Labour;
– having regard to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Global Compact;
– having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles developed by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children ;
– having regard to OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas including all its Annexes and Supplements;
– having regard to the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down supply chain due diligence obligations for Union importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas
– having regard to the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals;
– having regard to the EU’s National Indicative Programme Madagascar and the 11th European Development fund 2014-2020;
– having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure.
A. Whereas according to the November 2019 report published by Terre des Hommes International Federation (TDHIF) the total number of mica workers employed in Mica mining in Madagascar is estimated at 22,000, of which at least half are minors between the ages of five and seventeen; whereas the overall number of children working in Madagascar is estimated to exceed 265,000;
B. Whereas the main reasons for the emergence of child labour in the global south are poverty, social inequalities, and economic deprivation, and the absence of universal access to health and education.
C. Whereas 91% of Madagascar's population lives on less than 2 US$ per day. Whereas 50% of the population suffers chronic malnutrition (the fourth highest rate in the world). Whereas, 47% of children suffer from stunting, and almost 10% suffer from acute malnutrition;
D. Whereas child labour in Madagascar is widespread in other sectors, such as the harvesting of vanilla and extraction of other raw materials
E. Whereas the neoliberal economic policy imposed on Madagascar and other African countries through Structural Adjustment Programmes of the World Bank and the IMF, as well as the ESA free trade agreement known as Economic Partnership Agreements concluded with the EU, have led to land grabbing and abuse of natural resources, and economic, social, political and humanitarian crises, undermining the population’s right to access to health care, sanitation, drinking water and education.
F. Whereas Madagascar was the sixth largest mica exporter worldwide in 2017 and the biggest global exporter of sheet mica which is used extensively in the cosmetics (lipstick), electronics (mobile phone, laptops) and automotive industries (trains, cars); whereas the country’s mica exports have increased from 2,000 tons in 2010, to more than 48,000 tons in 2018; whereas in 2018, the European Union, and in particular Estonia, ranked second on the list of importers of mica from Madagascar, while China imported 84 percent of all mica from Madagascar.
G. Whereas Madagascar ranked 162 out 189 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) 2019;
H. Whereas the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights explicitly prohibits child labour and promotes the protection of young people at work with EU trade, the promotions of human rights and development cooperation policies to eradicate child labour;
I. Whereas the European Parliament repeatedly called in various resolution for legislative initiatives on mandatory due diligence and whereas the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has committed to a zero-tolerance policy on child labour in EU trade agreements;
J. Whereas through the African Union Agenda 2063 , and the recently signed Ten-Year Action Plan on the Eradication of Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Africa (2020-2030) African countries are committed to eliminating all forms of child labour on the continent in accordance with target 8.7 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
1. Strongly condemns the exploitation of child labour and the unhealthy and precarious working conditions in the mica-mining sector in Madagascar;
2. Urges all EU and international companies sourcing mica and mica-based products to assure the full respect of all regulations and international relevant conventions to grant the full respect of workers’ rights and to end child labour exploitation;
3. Calls on all EU and international companies to observe the principles of Fair Trade and of ethically sourced goods and materials.
4. Calls on the government of Madagascar to fully implement its commitments under ILO Conventions No 182 on the worst forms of child labour and No 138 on the minimum age for admission to employment;
5. Calls on the Commission to take urgent measures to help the Madagascar authorities to effectively and permanently tackle the problem of child labour in the country.
6. Urges the EU to approve a binding due diligence regulation to prevent forced labour and child labour products from entering the EU market;
7. Calls on the Commission to promote multilateral rules for sustainable management of Global Value Chains, including mandatory supply chain due diligence and transparency requirements, and full respect of all ILO core conventions and environmental standards and agreement.
8. Urges the Commission to set up a working group with the PR China as the main importer of mica from Madagascar to identify efficient measures to prevent child labour in sourcing from Madagascar;
9. Regrets that the current EPAs are not in line with the objectives of sustainable development and in contradiction with the principle of policy coherence for development. Asks the Commission to review its trade policy towards African countries and EPAs, aiming for a fair partnership that fully takes into account the differences between European and African economies and the achievement of the SDG’s; calls on the Commission to make a cooperation programme for the eradication of child labour in Madagascar a condition for any conclusion of the ongoing negotiations for a comprehensive EPA agreement with the ESA countries..
10. Stresses the need for including binding and enforceable mechanisms to implement the respect of human rights, workers and child rights and environmental standards in all EU trade agreements,
11. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to seriously engage in the negotiations on a binding UN Treaty for Transnational Corporations and Human Rights;
12. Takes note that the so called EU ‘conflict minerals’ regulation will come into effect in January 2021, with the Commission due to report on its implementation to the European Parliament by January 2023. Calls for the review to take into account the impact of the regulation on the ground and include an assessment of broadening its scope to minerals such as mica in the promotion and cost of responsible sourcing;
13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government of Madagascar, the Vice-President/High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the Council of the European Union, the ACP-EU Council, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the SADC and the Commission of the African Union.