World Vision paints broad picture of child miners doing this 3D work - dirty, dangerous and degrading
MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, World Vision released Five Things You Need to Know About Children and Mining as a complementary resource for their new report about children working as artisanal miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Child Miners Speak. While the main report offers insight into the dirty, dangerous and degrading lives of children working at an artisanal copper and cobalt mine, Five Things You Need to Know About Children and Mining paints a broad picture of this horrendous form of child labour.
Five Things You Need to Know About Children and Mining
Children are miners, too. An estimated 1 million children are working as miners worldwide. They
work in Africa, Asia-Pacific, South and Central America and Europe,
mining everything from gold to gravel. Most of the time they work as
"artisanal miners", which means they use their hands and tools to
collect raw materials and extract minerals.
- It's dirty. Artisanal mining has immediate and long-term effects on a child's health. In World Vision's recent research conducted among workers at an informal mine site in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 67 per cent of children experienced frequent or persistent coughing and girls who were working waist-deep in acidic water reported experiencing genital infections. Minerals mined are often hazardous not only to the child miner's health, but also that of the wider community. Cobalt, for example, can damage the heart, thyroid and lungs. It's especially risky for children because:
Children absorb and retain heavy metals in the brain more easily.
Children's enzyme systems are still developing so are less able to
detoxify hazardous substances.
Children breathe faster and more deeply, so can inhale more airborne
pathogens and dusts.
Children dehydrate more easily due to their larger skin surface and
because of their faster breathing.
Children's endocrine system (which plays a key role in growth and
development) can be disrupted by chemicals. (Source: ILO)
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca
SOURCE World Vision Canada