We declare our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and to the following specific principles for Responsible Artisanal and Small-scale Mining and standard setting:
Responsible Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) complies with the national legal frameworks. Where national legislation does not recognize the legal rights of community-based artisanal and small-scale miners, despite their legitimate efforts towards legalization, we will, as far as possible, work with organized ASM and national governments, to advocate for improved public policies for responsible ASM organizations interested in committing to the principles. The standard will not support organizations involved with armed conflict in any way, including financing conflict or the use of revenue to engage in activities that facilitate the purchasing of arms.
Responsible ASM is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on UN declarations regarding the cultural, social and economic rights of individuals. The rights of artisanal and small-scale miners must be respected, and their violation, denounced. Responsible community based artisanal and small-scale miners organizations respect the human rights, as well as the social, economic, cultural, and labor rights of every person involved and of the local community, as fundamental principles. The rights of women, disadvantaged groups and individuals, including migrant workers, are specifically included.
Responsible ASM is decent work in line with the ILO Conventions. Work in Responsible Artisanal and Small-scale Mining is performed in conditions of freedom, equality, safety, and human dignity, free from child labor, allowing the access of small-scale minerals producers, workers and their families to a decent standard of living.
Quality of Life and Sustainable Human Development for ASM communities: Responsible ASM contributes to the sustainable human development of their communities. Responsible Artisanal and Small-scale Mining improves the quality of life of men and women miners, their families, and the community that hosts ASM endeavors, respecting the conceptions and priorities of each community.
Responsible ASM actively encourages better preventive and restorative environmental practices and the application of responsible methods of production. Responsible miners abide by the environmental laws in their countries, contribute to environmental protection, human health and ecological restoration in its operations and communities, and mitigate negative impacts.
Respecting protected areas, avoiding damaging important biodiversity, minimizing the ecological footprint of mining, and, where possible restoring or replacing biodiversity, and where this is not possible, compensating for that residual loss, are principles for environmental protection
Women’s work is properly valued and rewarded. In the organizations and initiatives of responsible ASM, equality should exist among men and women in all rights, including access to resources, the use of earnings, and participation and impact on decision-making processes. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organizations. The miners’ organization ensures equal pay for equal labor regardless of the laborer’s gender. In organizations, processes and activities where there is marginalization of women, measures and actions shall be taken in order to improve equality.
Artisanal and Small-scale Mining often develops in contexts of ethnic and cultural diversity. Where indigenous peoples or other ethnic groups are owners of the territory and are different from the miners themselves, responsible ASM organizations will undertake consultations based on the spirit of ILO Convention 169, with respect for local cultural practices in order to reach agreements with the local traditional authority and community, with regards to the impacts and benefits of mining operations and trading in that indigenous or ethnic territory.
The standard strengthens the rights and activities of artisanal and small-scale miners who work under the difficult and dangerous conditions of internal armed conflicts. In order to improve the working and living conditions of small-scale miners, their families and communities in conflict zones, the standard is based on the spirit of International Humanitarian Law which tries to widen the range of activities of civilians in the situation of an internal armed conflict, and to delimitate the action of the armed parties. Community based Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Organizations strengthen the possibilities of small-scale miners as a vulnerable social group, so that they cannot be extorted or forced to collaboration by armed groups or armed individuals (e.g. financial contributions, delivering of information etc.).