At one cobalt mine, children toiled in the drenching rain carrying
huge sacks of the mineral.
Dorsen, eight, had no shoes and told us he hadn’t made enough
money to eat for the past two days - despite working for about 12
hours a day. His friend Richard, 11, talked about how his whole
body ached every day from the tough physical work. […]
The mine tunnels are dug by hand by miners who have no protective
equipment. The tunnels have no supports and are prone to collapse,
especially in the rain.
There are thousands of unofficial, unregulated, unmonitored mines
where men, women and children work in what can only be described
as slave conditions. In one group, we found a circle of children
with a four-year-old girl picking out cobalt stones.