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Call for Experts: UNICRI Study on Crimes associated with Mining and Critical Minerals in Southeast Asia

Call for Experts: UNICRI Study on Crimes Associated with Mining and Critical Minerals in Southeast Asia



The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is launching a comprehensive study focusing on crimes associated with the mining and trafficking of critical minerals in Southeast Asia. We are seeking collaborators to be interviewed about their work experiences on this topic and to serve as members of our Expert Working Group.

Please note that this is a voluntary position with no remuneration; however your contribution will be duly acknowledged in the report.

Deadline for submission: 20 June 2024

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As the global shift towards digitalisation and decarbonisation accelerates, the demand for green minerals, critical for technologies like electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, is rapidly increasing. Southeast Asia, with its abundant deposits of rare earth elements (REEs), lithium, cobalt, and nickel, plays a crucial role in fulfilling this global demand. However, the swift expansion of mining these resources has led to severe environmental challenges, including deforestation, land degradation, and pollution, which significantly impact local ecosystems and communities.

The lack of comprehensive data on the extent of illegal mining and trafficking hinders the ability of governments to formulate effective policies and enforcement strategies. Corruption, resource constraints, inadequate training, difficulties in monitoring remote areas, and a lack of coordination among various agencies also impede the enforcement of existing laws.

Key Objectives
  • Environmental Impact: Investigate the environmental consequences of illegal mining and trafficking of critical minerals, which deforestation, pollution, and biodiversity loss.
  • Organized Crime: Examine the involvement of organized crime groups (OCGs) in illegal mining and smuggling operations along the supply chain.
  • Governance and Policy: Evaluate existing policies and regulations, identify gaps, propose policy recommendations, and suggest innovative technological solutions to enhance the detection, monitoring, and prosecution of crimes related to the mining of critical minerals.
Who Can Express Interest?

The Expert Working Group will be multidisciplinary, with members possessing a range of technical knowledge, skills, and experience relevant to the study. Approximately fifteen experts will be selected. UNICRI welcomes expressions of interest from professionals across various disciplines relevant to the project, including but not limited to:

  • Environmental Sciences
  • Mining and Geology
  • Public Policy
  • Law Enforcement
  • Human Rights
Role of the Expert Group

The Expert Working Group will perform the following activities:

  • Identify case studies and best practices.
  • Advise on strategies to combat organized crime in the critical minerals sector.
  • Advise on modes of dissemination and application.
  • Review and provide feedback on draft versions of the study.
Commitment and Workload

The role of the Expert Working Group is advisory, requiring a moderate commitment. Activities may include:

  • Providing insights and feedback via email or online platforms.
  • Reviewing and contributing to drafts and documents.
  • Engaging in brief interviews or discussions as needed.
How to Apply

Interested professionals are invited to submit their expression of interest by clicking here.