The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has indicated that illegal mining can be totally eradicated only if the approach is focused on employment and social development.
The Union therefore charged government to pay more attention to the lack of economic opportunities, poverty and inequality in mining areas.
“There is no excuse for engaging in any illegal activity but it will be extremely difficult to eradicate illegal mining if those engaged in the activity cannot find other alternative means for survival.”
This was contained in a statement issued by the TUC to review the socio-economic and political situation in Ghana for the first half of 2017.
The TUC pledged its support and that of affiliate, the Ghana Mineworkers Union, in the national effort toward total eradication of illegal mining in Ghana.
“We must by all means save our water bodies and our environment from the wanton destruction we have witnessed in some communities across the country”.
The statement believes that efforts must now be geared toward the formalisation of the informal mining sector based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Recommendation 204 (2015) on Transition from the Informal to Formal Economy. The TUC again called on government to ratify ILO conventions and protocols concerning occupational health, safety and environment (OSHE) to protect mineworkers and also on regulatory institutions in the sector to be strengthened to ensure that natural resources are exploited to the benefit of the citizens of Ghana.
TUC called on government, chiefs and leaders in mining communities, large multinational mining companies and civil society organisations to work together to agree on a more comprehensive plan to stop illegal mining in Ghana.
After following the debate about illegal mining with keen interest, the TUC commended government for the initiative and the effort towards eradicating illegal mining in Ghana once and for all and Ghanaian media for their sustained campaign against illegal mining.
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