Dutch aid minister Lilianne Ploumen and the Dutch gold sector, including jewelers plus companies like Philips and Fairphone, have signed an agreement to improve the lot of gold miners and ensure that gold is produced in a fair and environmentally sound way, broadcaster NOS said on Monday.
Gold mining often leads to environmental damage and social problems such as corruption and child labour, and the proceeds of gold production are often used to fund conflict, the broadcaster said.
The companies signing the convenant have pledged to examine their own roles carefully with the aim of ensuring that gold is mined in an equitable way, without environmental damage.
However, the financial sector, which has a key role in financing gold mining, has not signed the deal, the broadcaster said.
Plouman, who earlier signed similar agreements on coal and textiles, said she hopes that the covenant will be adopted elsewhere within Europe.