Mali’s Plan to Probe Child Labour in Gold Mines

AFRICA, 20 Feb 2012

Africa News – TRANSCEND Media Service

‘Our research found that children in Mali start working as young as six years old. Many child laborers are denied an education or drop out of school. Some children come to the mines without their parents and suffer economic or sexual exploitation,’ Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the Minister of Mines, Amadou Cisse.

‘We are encouraged by your actions to address these problems by conducting visits to artisanal mining sites. We believe that the planned government mission can be an important starting point for concerted action to improve the situation of these children,’ the New York-based rights group said in the letter, a copy of which was published on its website this weekend.

The Malian government and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have estimated that there are approximately 100,000 to 200,000 individuals who work in artisanal gold mines in Mali, among whom an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 are children.

‘Many of these children perform hazardous child labor, in contravention of Malian labor law. While artisanal mining represents an important source of income and livelihood for adults, there are serious health risks for children who dig pits, work underground, carry, pan, and crush ore, and use mercury to extract gold,’ HRW said.

The rights group urged the Malian government to ensure the probe panel comprises representatives of ministries that should be involved in the development of strategies to address the suffering of these children, as well as of the relevant UN agencies, such as UNICEF and the International Labor Organization, as well international and/or national Malian NGOs that have expertise on the issue.

The Malian government has promised to make the outcome of the probe public.

Go to Original –


Share this article:

DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Comments are closed.