Response to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 virus is disrupting the lives of millions of people around the world, like many of you at the Responsible Mining Foundation (RMF) we are all working from home now. And we are doing our best to ensure continuity in our research, publication and outreach work. Although we cannot travel for now, and many events have been cancelled or postponed, we look forward to staying in touch with you through email, calls and webinars that will soon be announced.

Mining companies and their workers and communities are also severely affected in so many ways – so it is encouraging to read of the efforts that many companies are introducing to prioritise health and safety despite disruptions to production and supply chain activities.

However, there is also disturbing news of new and more immediate economic and security risks to vulnerable groups like contract and day workers, women, children, and human rights defenders. Many suffer even more from the discontinuity caused by the crisis in what was already extremely hard and often dangerous living conditions.

Urgent response measures are needed now, but we should not lose sight of the long-term and important matters that must be addressed to make responsible mining a reality and to fully support the achievement of the SDGs.

Social solidarity and respect for one another are essential if we are to come out of this with a new will to ensure better economies, improved lives for all, and care for our shared environment.