Toxic toil — child labour and mercury exposure in Tanzania’s small-scale gold mines
Thousands of children, some as young as eight years old, risk serious injury and even death from working in small-scale gold mines in Tanzania.
This report, based on over 200 interviews, examines child labour and exposure to mercury in small-scale gold mines in Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer. Children dig and drill in deep unstable pits for shifts of up to 24 hours, transport and crush heavy bags of gold ore, and process the gold with mercury. Exposure to mercury vapour can cause neurological and developmental problems and it is particularly harmful to children. In some cases, working in mines also affects children’s attendance and performance at school and places girls at risk of sexual harassment and exploitation.
Substances you come in contact with in mining, mercury, silicon dioxide