Child labour is still troublingly prevalent globally. For the World Day Against Child Labour, we look at how blockchain technology could solve the problem – and allow children to ‘work on their dreams, not on fields.’
Where is it happening?
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the most prevalent places for child labour. Many minerals – especially cobalt – are mined from the DRC in artisanal mining operations, and child and adult workers are often forced to work long days in difficult and arduous conditions. These conditions can also cause long-term medical problems due to proximity as well.
Often, the profit from this mining also funds conflict, marking the products as ‘conflict minerals.’ This affects children’s communities and their right to feel safe within them by bringing conflict to their communities.
Traceability without corruption
You can record that no child labour was used in your supply chain – whether that’s manufacturing, mining or any other industry. But without the evidence to back it up, what does it mean?
That is why blockchain is so valuable. It tracks every point of the supply chain and is permanent, immutable and decentralised. So, you can confirm that the data inputted is correct and has not been tampered with.
This does not merely mean child labour. It also extends to forced and unpaid labour, as well as poor working conditions and unfair wages. All of these aspects can be tracked with the help of blockchain technology.
A platform for change
Blockhead Technologies’ flagship product is STAMP, a streamlined platform ideal for data consumption. STAMP Supply is designed specifically for supply chains, to optimise data, ensure ethics and sustainability, and trace mining supply chains pit-to-port. Mining companies often struggle with ensuring that they are sourcing sustainably, largely due to gaps in supply chain recording and an overabundance of data.
This does not just apply to mining and metals, however. Food and beverage supply chains also hold issues. The cacao supply chain, for example, is often a product of child labour, with sourcing from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Two million child labourers work in the two countries alone.