Publisher: Centre For Social Science Research, Enugu

Child Labour and Small-Scale Quarry Mining In The Global South

Onwe Friday, Ph.d
KEYWORDS: Child labour, Mining, Small-Scale and Quarry Mining

ABSTRACT:

The International Labour Organization (2006) identified that children from the age of 5 through 17 years, estimated to be about 115 million are engaged in hazardous conditions across the world. The ILO describes it as‘work in dangerous or unhealthy conditions that could result in a child being killed, or injured/ or made ill as a consequence of poor safety and health standards and working arrangements’. A greater number of children when this figure is broken down could be identified to work in small-scale quarry mining in the third world countries. children are observed to engaged in these small-scale quarry mining without concern to their participation in such informal areas of work. These children belong to the group that could easily develop health problems later in life due to poor working conditions while their bodies and minds are still growing and developing. They also suffer from the lack of formal education, as few manage to attend formal schooling when working long hours in harsh conditions in rural areas where the quarry mines are mainly located without supervision or concern from government agencies. In the developing countries, there is high level of poverty and neglect which is the driving force to the child labour in the small-scale quarry mines. Families are left with no other choice but to send their children to work in such areas. Although it is regarded as being engaged in low-technology and very illegal, still it is involved with lack of monitor and regulations. And because of children’s size and agility, they are found very useful in the narrow tunnels and shafts underground. These children are equally cheap to be engaged, and they do not ask questions or stand up for their rights. The
children’s health issues are not regarded here, which ranges from exposure through lack of sanitation, health services and regular access to clean water which are likely preludes to physical and neurological disorders



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