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Protecting the vulnerable: What we do for children

Children are among the most vulnerable members of society and that’s why, as a global business, we aim to ensure our operations don’t negatively impact them, or the communities where they live.

To achieve this, we regularly conduct detailed assessments of both our positive and negative impacts using our Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT). SEAT was highlighted by UNICEF as an example of best practice in identifying child-related impacts.    

SEAT provides a framework to pro-actively identify risks, impacts and opportunities in a participatory way with our stakeholders, including community members, civil society and government bodies.  It is from these assessments that we have identified programmes that focus on child protection.  Examples include our road safety and teen pregnancy programmes in Brazil.

Road safety

More than 43,800 people are killed in traffic accidents in Brazil every year, according to the World Health Organization, and approximately 2,000 are children under the age of 14. That’s why our Brazilian phosphate and niobium businesses launched the Safe Streets and Roads project in 2013.

Implemented in the Catalão and Ouvidor municipalities of Brazil, the project focused on raising awareness of the five key road killers including overtaking, distracted drivers, speeding, motorbikes, and drinking and driving. This included a partnership with Safe Kids to proactively engage government, business leaders and other decision makers on road safety issues that affect child safety.

It is estimated that information on the importance of road safety for children reached 4,500 families and that during the campaign period, both Catalão and Ouvidor municipalities experienced significant reductions in fatalities. 

Sexual health

Adolescent pregnancy is a global concern and a challenge that needs to be tackled thoughtfully and carefully.

At Barro Alto, Brazil, home to an Anglo American nickel operation, we have worked in collaboration with the local municipality and Reprolatina – an NGO partner dedicated to empowering women and improving the sexual and reproductive health of the disadvantaged populations of Latin America – to help do just that.

Through a combination of research, action and education, the project seeks to decrease vulnerabilities to unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, drug use, violence, sexual exploitation and other aspects of sexual and reproductive health. Success has depended on building the local technical capacities of health service providers, educators and young people at schools, as well as on empowering women.

Between 2010 and 2014, we had invested $890,000 in the programme and by 2011, the number of adolescent pregnancies registered in Barro Alto had dropped to 40% of the total number of pregnancies registered in 2011, and by 2012 it had dropped further to 16%. 

You can discover more about our work with local communities here. 

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