Published on 25th May 2016 by

Child Labour (2007): In The Cerro Rico mines of Bolivia, children as young as 13 are forced into the pits.

For similar stories, see:
Inside Bolivia’s Legal Cocaine Factories

Uncovering Bolivia’s Controversial Child Labour Laws
Bolivia: Front Line In The Battle With Climate Change

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Nearly 4,000 children work in the Cerro Rico mines of Bolivia. Those who are not injured or buried alive often develop lung diseases. Miners here have a life expectancy of just 39.

Cerro Rico was once the largest silver mine in the world. Five hundreds years on, deposits are nearly exhausted. Miners are forced to work deeper and deeper, in increasingly dangerous conditions. “We’re forced into this business by poverty”, states one teenager. “I have to work day and night to support my family”. Officially, workers have to be 16 to go down the mines. But in the poorest regions of Bolivia, these rules are often ignored. Fourteen year old Jesus earns €4 a day from working in the mines. After a long shift, he has to go to school. “I always get headaches during my shifts and can’t concentrate on my studies”.

ORF – Ref. 3331

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