The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact across the world on all aspects of life, especially among the marginalised, who are the most vulnerable people to this disease. We, the Jesuit Organizations and Jesuit Social Centers from all around the world that are part of the Justice in Mining Network, are very concerned about the impact of this crisis in the communities affected by mining in Africa, Latin America and Africa.
The majority of these communities, despite living in territories rich in natural resources, suffer from poverty, violence, inequality and a structural lack of access to education, health and other basic goods. The COVID-19 pandemic is already seriously affecting them: in many countries, containment measures are endangering people who defend human rights and the environment; millions of artisanal miners and their families are seeing their only source of income threatened; and meanwhile, some mining companies are carrying on with their operations as if nothing had happened, endangering the lives of workers and local communities.
In these difficult times, we cannot leave them behind.