Verité’s report, The Nexus of Illegal Gold Mining and Human Trafficking in Global Supply Chains, starkly highlights how illegal gold mining throughout Latin America is tied to human trafficking, which will be of interest to the wide variety of companies and retailers that sell products containing gold. The report draws from field research in Peru and Colombia as well as extensive desk research and analysis of global gold flows.
Verité research has found that the diminishing supply and increasing demand for gold, combined with criminal and armed groups’ quest for new sources of illicit revenue, have contributed to a surge in illegal extraction of gold from increasingly remote and lawless regions. In Latin America, and elsewhere in the world, illegally mined gold is strongly linked to human trafficking and other labor abuses. It is also closely associated with child labor, severe threats to workers’ health and safety, and sex trafficking.
Combatting illegal gold mining and the human and labor rights abuses that accompany it requires a coordinated, multi-pronged approach by the governments of gold producing countries, as well as the countries and companies that import gold. Verité’s report provides recommendations for how companies and governments can ensure that illegally mined gold does not make its way into central banks and global supply chains, and ultimately into the hands of consumers in the form of jewelry, gold bullion, and electronics. In the coming months, Verité will publish a white paper covering these recommendations in greater detail.