Sata is working in a gold mine in Mali. - Foto: Andreas Beck, DanWatch

If you have a mobile phone in your pocket, it will undoubtedly contain gold.

Because of the high demand for gold, the prices have risen the last 10 years. This has resulted in a growing gold industry in Africa.

Some families see the gold industry as a way out of poverty, and in the hope of creating a better life, the whole family travels to gold fields, where children as young as six participate in the dangerous work.

Children work 6-10 hours a day and the work in the mines is hard and dangerous. The children handle mercury with their bare hands, although mercury is a carcinogen and can damage the central nervous system.

Work in the mines is very dangerous as the mine shafts may collapse or be flooded. 17 people were killed in a mine collapse in Ghana in 2013.

The five largest mobile phone manufacturers in the European market admit they do not know where their gold come from. This is the focus of the campaign “Stop Child Labour in your phone!”

 

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