2023 State of the ASM Sector report Explore Delve's new report on ASM's contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality

2020 State of the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Sector

The 2020 State of the ASM Sector Report builds on the analysis from the 2019 Report to close further data gaps in the ASM sector. The 2020 Report uses the Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG8): “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” as the framework for analyzing ASM’s contributions to global development.

The 2020 State of the Sector Report uses mixed methods to demonstrate the richness of the ASM labor force: types of employment, diversity of the workforce, and the influence of social relationships both inside and outside the mine site. It shows how this global labor force contributes to efforts to improve the three key components of SDG8: i) economic growth; ii) productive employment; and iii) decent work. The 2020 report argues that once ASM is understood as an ecosystem—with layers of socioeconomic activity operating via interdependent production networks (Henderson et al. 2002; McQuilken and Hilson 2018; McQuilken 2018)— solutions to some of the sector’s most pressing labor problems can be better conceived. It further demonstrates how holistic approaches to SDG8 in ASM serve as a platform for scaling up the critical agenda of ASM formalization.

The report analyzes five focus areas under SDG8 (i) improve occupational health and safety (OHS); (ii) stimulate economic growth; (iii) make production sustainable and eliminate mercury; (iv) ensure gender equality; and (v) eradicate child labor and promote youth employment. Each focus area begins with an overview, positioning current knowledge and progress to frame the accompanying 22 case studies contributed by over 30 partner organizations. Drawn from a wide range of ASM practitioners and researchers, the case studies provide an inspiring collection of efforts to improve SDG8 in ASM, with the hope that inspiration will galvanize renewed interest and focus on achieving this important SDG for the millions of informal mine workers, and their families and communities, around the world.

Additional Info

Dr. James McQuilken, Dr. Rachel Perks, J McQuilken, R Perks
Publication Year
Associated Partners
Publishing Institution Webpage
Data Source Classification
Global Report
Research Type
Research Methodology
Thematic Tags
Political, Formalization, Supply Chains, Economic, Access to Markets, Export, Government Revenue, Income, Social, Child Labor, Community, Employment, Gender, Health and Safety, Labor and Working Conditions, Livelihoods, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Technological, Education and Training, Processing, Legal, Laws and Regulations, Licensing, Environmental, Degradation, Mercury, Pollution, Water
Cobalt, Development Minerals, Diamond, Gemstones, Gold, Sand
East Asia & Pacific, Global, Global/Multi-Region, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa
Cameroon, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda
Last Updated
May 4, 2021