Ministry of Mines and Energy. Bogota D.C. November 23rd, 2017. "Since 2013, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has made great efforts in prevention, risk mitigation and eradication of child labor in order to protect the rights of children and teenagers," said the Vice-Minister of Mines, Carlos Cante, during the opening of a seminar known as Promoting good practices throughout the value chain of mining and within the framework of the National Action Plan for Human Rights and Companies with a focus on children, which was organized by UNICEF.
"Our commitment also includes good mining practices, and that obviously extends to the protection and defense of human rights. The mining and energy sector contributes to national development in terms of human rights, environmental protection and the development of goods and services. We are permanently helping children and teenagers go to school, receive education and enjoy recreational spaces," the Vice-Minister of Mines added.
"Thanks to the formalization of Proper Mining Activities, we are not only defending the rights of our workers but also those of their families. Using different inter-institutional agreements and acting together with local authorities, we are developing awareness processes in order to prevent and eradicate child labor in mining. Not a single child or teenager must work in these activities or any other, because their right is to study. Our contribution to development and the commitment of the sector during the post-conflict period consists of helping to protect human rights," Cante Puentes concluded.
During the opening ceremony, other participants included Paula Gaviria, the Presidential Advisor for Human Rights; Roberto de Bernardi, the UNICEF Representative for Colombia; and Viviana Limpias, UNICEF Deputy.