With to financial hindrance. Tradition can also be a

With the demand of raw materials, such as gold, escalating due to technological
advancements and other motives, child labour has become more prominent,
especially in lower income countries. According to the Child Labour Coalition1,
approximately one million children from the ages of 5-17 work in hazardous
mines which are located globally. Asia, Africa, Latin America as well as fragments
of Europe. Consumers purchase products, oblivious to the origins of the materials,
which sparks the question , is gold more precious than children?
In this essay, the topic of Child Labour will be shown through the country of
Tanzania and The Philippines. Firstly, the essay will introduce the country of
Tanzania and the reasons for child labour existing in the country. The effects of
extensive labour on children will also be discussed as well as the circumstances
they work in. Additionally, the essay will then acknowledge how the government
is adapting to the issue of child labour. In order to show how the idea of child
labour changes from country to country, The Philippines will also be explored in
the essay and compared to Tanzania. Similarly, the causes and effects as well as
the government’s reaction will be examined. Finally, personal opinions will also be
written about to conclude the essay.
Child Labour; Tanzania
One of the main reasons of the existence of child labour is the low development
of the countries. In Tanzania, the Philippines and Afghanistan, impoverished
families are obligated to send their children to laborious work due to financial
hindrance. Tradition can also be a reason for sending their children to work. The
family may be in debt or may have been working in a specific place or field for
In the article 2 “Tanzania: Hazardous Life of Child Gold Miners” written by The
Human Rights Watch ,It has been expressed that Tanzania’s destabilised economy
and political plight has lead to children as young as eight to fall into child labour
in gold mines and other industries such as agriculture, the metal industry, fishing
agriculture etc. According to The World Bank 6, with only £0.44 earnings per day,
twelve million Tanzanians are still living in extremely impoverished conditions. Thus,
it is unavoidable for children to not work as they feel the need to support their
family: they were obligated to leave their education and liberty behind. Tanzania’s
low financial income leads to the neglect of social issues such as child labour.
Effects of Child labour in Tanzania
As well as mental and emotional strain, It has been proven that physically,
children are under developed, therefore, are affected significantly by the jobs
which adults would merely find tiresome. Children were examined to have spinal
injuries due to the heavy loads they had to carry consecutively for hours on end.
Additionally, the respiratory systems of the children become severely impaired
because of dust and toxins; With the use of heavy industrial machinery comes the
danger of amputations and other injuries. Unlicensed, small-scale mines lack safety
equipment, consequently, there may be a chance of collapses, which can be
jeopardizing . Mercury is a liquid metal which is used to bind small pieces of
metal together; it is cheap and easily accessible , however, is extremely toxic.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of education, miners are unaware of the dangers
that come with using such a harmful material. it can lead to dizziness, damage to
the immune system and digestive system in addition to being a hindrance in a
Therefore, education is assuredly vital in order to maintain a safe environment
for children and to prevent accidents, however , the majority of children who
participate in child labour lack access and permission to attend school. Children
are unaware of the human rights they are entitled to, therefore they are
vulnerable and easily manipulated. Also, with the lack of education comes the
oblivion of not knowing the dangers of gold mining. Child miners as well as adult
miners are unshielded by the perils that come with their occupation.
Whilst visiting the mines in Tanzania,2 The Human Rights Watch discovered the
sexual assault young women were experiencing in and around the mines. It was
quoted in 2The Human Rights Watch that “girls on and around mining sites face
sexual harassment, including pressure to engage in sex work. Some girls become
victims of commercial sexual exploitation and risk contracting HIV or other
sexually transmitted infections.” A high concentration of criminal acts around the
mines show the lack of government attention and how the mines solely are not
the issue. The Government in Tanzania
With such a problematic and substantial case of child labour, it would be thought
that Tanzania’s government would act accordingly and swiftly , however, whether
Tanzania is acting accordingly can be argued. The country has rather strict laws
when It comes to child labour as claimed by the Human Rights Watch 2 ; children
under fourteen are unpermitted to work , furthermore, no child should tolerate
child labour. On the contrary, the 7 United States Department of labor states that
” In 2016, the United Republic of Tanzania made a minimal advancement to
eliminate the worst forms of child labor. ”
From the evidence gathered, it can be concluded that Tanzania is not prioritising
this issue, however, it would be foolish to think that Tanzania is solely to blame;
the Human Rights Watch 2 found that the top import destinations of Tanzania’s
included China, the United Kingdom as well as the United Arab Emirates . All the
countries listed are high income countries who are, arguably, letting the gold
mines from closing by buying their material. However, it should be taken into
consideration that gold can be extremely hard to trace back. The dilemma of
where the materials used for various products originate from is rather intricate.
However, if governments prioritise the safety and rights of all miners, buyers
would not have to consider the root of the material (gold) as it would be
ensured that no child labour was involved: Children should be able to participate
in education and hobbies. They should only be permitted to a certain amount of
working which is safe and not hazardous to their health.
Although such ideas are realistic, it will be strenuous for a country like Tanzania
to establish. Tanzania’s low economy and high rate of impoverishment has proven
to be a hindrance when It comes to enforcing laws against child labour.
Nonetheless, companies who are investing in raw materials should ensure miners
are being paid and have a tolerable work environment. Safety checks should be
frequent and education should be compulsory.
The idea that child labour is inevitable is inaccurate. It can be difficult to
diminish completely, especially in a low income country like Tanzania, however, it
is unjustifiable to not take action. Despite having economic and political issues,
Tanzania as well as large companies should start restricting children from
excessive and dangerous work .
Child Labour in The Philippines
Despite the basis of child labour being the same, it varies from country to
country. The Philippines , which is located in the continent of Asia, also has high
rate of child labour. According to4 The Human Rights Watch, Compressor mining ,
which is exclusive to the Philippines, is a widely used, but illegal, way to extract gold
.Children are forced to enter water-filled pits which are up to twenty five meters
long. Only with a thin pipe acting as an equipment for breathing, children spend
hours under water in confined, unstable areas looking for gold. It is uncertain that
they will find gold , however, the mentality and the idea of one day becoming rich
keeps these miners and their children in such a dangerous job. Also, with the
majority of the 103.3 million population being Roman Catholic, families tend to be
large due to the rarity of contraception. Hence, finances tend to be troublesome
which leads to the children of the families to leave education and attend work.
Similar to Tanzania, Mercury is also used as a processor for the gold. 4 The
Human Rights Watch states that ” They complained about the health effects of the
work, such as back pain, skin infections, and muscle spasms consistent with
symptoms of mercury poisoning.” The Human Rights Watch has estimated that
around 200,00 to 300,000 citizens have small-scale mining as an occupation. Ways
of extracting gold vary in the 30 provinces where small-scale mining occurs . Compressor mining and under-ground mining have different risk factors, however ,
are equally dangerous.
The Government in The Philippines
The lack of government reinforcement seems to be a recurring theme in
economically struggling countries. Despite banning the use of mercury and
compressor mining, the numbers of artisanal and dangerous mining strategies still
remain high and unaffected. From the findings, both Tanzania and the Philippines
are synonymous regarding to government policies and regulations. So, it can be
argued that there must be a reason for the lack of impact and change, although
austere laws have been established. In the4 Human Rights Watch, it has been
concluded that it may due to the lack of monitoring and prioritisation; “The
government should improve child labor monitoring and child protection systems,
and do more to reach those who have dropped out of school. It should ensure
that its programs to address the ill-effects of poverty, such as free school meals
and social support programs, are reaching families in mining areas, who frequently
depend on the labor of children for survival”. If the country begins to improve their
economy, it may be possible to decrease child labour as citizens will not have to
rely on physical labour to make a living , but rather education as more academic
jobs will be in demand.
From the information gathered, it is obvious that the effects of child labour, in
both Tanzania and The Philippines, are severe and extremely hindering to lives of
many children. It can also be concluded that the main cause for the government’s
lack of control is their low income rate. Therefore, it is a difficult issue to resolve.
One may argue that if unlicensed mining ceases, it may affect companies which
first world countries rely on to maintain their developed economy. Most of the
gold which comes from unauthorised mines are purchased through the Black
Market where gold is sold for much cheaper and without taxes. It is evident that
there is inequality when it comes to the purchasing and making of gold: large
companies make a noticeable amount of profit, whereas miners receive not even a
fraction of what they deserve. In order to end issues such as child labour, a lot of
regulations need to be altered which is extremely difficult. Immorality is common
when it comes t o affairs relating to capitalist businesses and maintaining profits.
Therefore , it is more important to educate people and bring awareness on matters
which are concealed .The predicament of child labour should be presented in the
media more often, companies should make sure their products are free of illegally
attained ingredients and should appropriately label their products