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Child Labor: Golden Opportunity?

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Avatar for Jeaneth
Written by   374
2 months ago

One of the most prominent problems third-world countries face is poverty. As a result, children in the family mostly volunteer or are sometimes forced to work to contribute to the family's expenses and survival.

They do this because it's their most accessible source of income for survival every day.

Do you think child labor runs as a culture or it just happens given the situation they're into?


Last Sunday after we tested the wood cutting tool I have ordered for my father, I watched the television and I was surprised how these kids were able to do such dangerous works.

It is a documentary show by Atom Araullo entitled "Munting Bisig" which means, "Little Arm". It basically shows how these young kids work to sustain the needs of the family.

A kid named Joshua, not his true name was interviewed but his eyes were censored to conceal his true identity. He is a miner. But it's not the kind of miner you imagine inside a mountain mining for minerals, particularly gold.

He mines gold by diving into a narrow, deep, mining pit that usually stands 10-12 meters deep from the water level.

He's only 10 years old but he already learned the techniques on how to dive through the mining pit.

People do this because they have no source of livelihood. That's why they mine gold to survive. Then again, life doesn't always give you a bed of roses. Sometimes they don't find gold all throughout the day. Although they can find little but that's just enough to buy for one meal.

They use a compressor, so they can breathe underwater. That serves as their lifesaver while they risk their lives to look for money. They bring a shovel with them to dig the sand quickly.

Just imagine how deep they dive, that's 10-12 meters and your lifeline only relies on that string you breathe underwater.

When they're done digging the sand, they tug the rope so that signals the people above to pull it out. The rocks are thrown back to the water while the gold remains at the center of the plate they use to filter the sand.

The risks involved in mining underwater.

Drowning.

Anyone can drown as long as you are underwater. Just the fact that you are gonna get down under it gives you the chances of drowning. The risks add up when you dive into an enclosed, narrow mining pit.

If you are claustrophobic, you are not going to survive. By the looks of it, you start getting panic attacks.

One died because he got buried beneath the mud. If there are too many people hanging around the area, the pit could collapse and so that risks the diver being buried underneath.

In fact, Joshua's father died because of diving. He got trapped while diving. He panicked when the mud started burying him because the pit gave in.

Joshua was discouraged by his mom to not risk his life for mining but he still chooses to do so because of starvation.

After filtering the sand, they need mercury to extract gold. They need this for the preheating process. However, mercury is dangerous to our bodies.

Our bodies can absorb it through our skin pores and then it travels to our brain and affects our central nervous system over time.


After almost spending the entire day of diving for gold, Joshua has managed to extract 4 grains of gold. Curious how much did it cost?

140 pesos or ($2.80).

Joshua still smiled when he received his money. He was asked what are his plans for the money, he said he will buy clothes and buy money for his little siblings.


Joshua dropped out of school and choose to work as early as 11 because he witnessed how hard it is for the family to survive every day. His parents may be against child labor but they had no choice because it's their main source of income.

The country has implemented a law prohibiting child labor but since for many poor families in the Philippines, having more children means having more family members who can work.


This still boils down to livelihood or poverty.

Who are the ones who take benefit of the small miners? The financiers, the big companies who buy gold, and the central banks.

If they stop the small-scale mining, poor families will be greatly affected and big companies will take advantage of it.

Poverty is a hindrance to success. That's irrevocable. One reason why people can't get out of it? It's because they are deprived of opportunities.

See how unfair this system is? Full of crap. Some politicians steal money from the people, no sweat. So much hate.


Your thoughts about this? I wanna hear from you, my friends.

Thanks for reading.

Keep safe everyone!

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Avatar for Jeaneth
Written by   374
2 months ago
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Comments

It's unfair that kids have to go through all the hardships and are forced to work because they don't have a choice. It's the rich and powerful who are controlling the world. If only we can have equality then we can avoid circumstances like this but the greedy won't like that.

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2 months ago

They do it because of poverty. Kung hindi magtatrabaho ang bata wala silang makakain, how will they able to survive? Hays. Sana mapansin sila ng mga nakatataas. Delikado yung gantong gawain andaming risk involved.

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2 months ago

Poverty makes children who should be playing happily are forced to work and risk their lives to sustain themselves and their families. I used to be like that too. I have to sing at a red light intersection after school. When I grew up I thought that poverty was a curse that was passed down by my parents. So I decided not to have children.

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2 months ago

Napanood ko din 'to, Ate. At habang nanonood kami? Patago akong nagpupunas ng mga luha ko. Grabeee! Lagi akong nanonood ng docus ni Atom Araullo pero dito ako mas nahabag. Ang sakit sa puso na panoorin. Lalo na 'yung kila Joshua, talagang halata na ang hirap ng ginagawa nila. Imagine 'yung makitid na hukay na 'yun? At 'yung hose na ginagamit nila para makahinga sa ilalim? Grabe. Then, eto pa 'yung magkakapatid na naghahakot ng bato at minamaso after makuha para maging grava. Ang mamatured nilang mag-isip. Di lang mga katawan nila 'yung batak, pati mga isip nila.

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2 months ago

My heart aches after reading Joshua's story :(. He is just 10 years old and yet he is already making a living. A very dangerous one. I just hope that the government will not blind their eyes about this situation and provide help for the minors like Joshua.

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2 months ago

The government is doing its job somehow but still, these families choose to stick to what they're used to eh.

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2 months ago

Sabagay pooo. Nakakasad lang talaga.

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2 months ago

My heart breaks for these kids, been doing hard labor for money😢

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2 months ago

They don't have a choice. You need to survive first before education 😬

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2 months ago

Sad but true, sikmura muna bago ang iba.. 😢

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2 months ago

grabe yung 140 sa buong araw na pagsisid niya. kaya ayaw ko nanunuod ng documentary na ganyan. kagandang panuorin kaso kasi alam mo yung mararamdaman mo yung hirap nila. ayoko yung ganung feeling pag nanunuod ako kasi sobra yung effect sa akin.

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2 months ago

You have a strong sense of empathy talaga madam. Hirap ng situation nila, wala sila magawa eh. 🤷‍♀️

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2 months ago

ewan ko ba siguro kaya ganun ako sis kasi laking hirap din kaya kahit di ko naexperience yung kalagayan nila ramdam ko yung hirap nila though magkaibang sitwasyon nga lang. Kung meron lang sana tayo magagawa ne kaso di naman tayo si GOD. Kaya ipasa Diyos na lang natin sila :)

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2 months ago

Some time ago I saw a report about this and there are many young people and children who die and the exploiters don't care, they just leave them there.

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2 months ago

That's terrible. How could they? 🥺

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2 months ago

Its such a pity such things still happen . Poverty is tbe order of the day. It happens in almost every third world country. So, pathetic.

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2 months ago

Yeah, that's sad truth 🤷‍♀️

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2 months ago

That is the kind of hardship we face right here in Africa. Our children are been exposed to danger and hard labour just to make money

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2 months ago

Same here in my country. 🥺 People are suffering from starvation, poor nutrition, and fatigue.

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2 months ago

Nakakaawa mga ganiton. Napanood ko rn dati ganitong documentary. Panu pla kung may mangyari masama sa knla sa ilalim at hndi mkagawa ng signal. Jusme.. Yan ang nkakaawang part sa pinas..

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2 months ago

Kaya nga madam. Pinaka delikado yun. 🥺

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2 months ago

This is sad to see a young who is supposed to be receiving education go through such stress just for survival.

The issue of child labor isn't just starting today it has spread like wildfire globally. We can't put all blames on the government because of overpopulation is one of the major causes of child labor, people bring kids to the world to go through much hardship.

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2 months ago

Exactly, George. These kids suffer because of overpopulation too. They are the main victims here.

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2 months ago

I wish parents can understand the harm they are bringing new kids into by having more babies.

I pray God to send help to the kids out there miraculously.

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2 months ago