Children of the Dirty Gold
It's one of the most expensive metals in the world - gold. But in the Philippines, child workers are risking their lives for it. This terrifying report delves into the dangerous and illegal underwater mines.
Breathing through nothing more than a thin pipe connected to an air compressor and going 30 foot underwater for hours in search of gold is all in a day's work for 16-year-old Gerald. "I'm afraid; if the earth collapses, I will get buried underneath" says the teenager."I do this for my family." For many kids like Gerald school is a distant memory and illegally diving for gold the only alternative to starvation. Hundreds of deaths by electrocution, drowning and even the possibility of mercury poisoning have had little impact on compressor mining activities, which continue un-policed and unregulated. "If I could only give job opportunities, I will take them away from compressor mining", says Ricarte Padilla, Mayor of Jose Panganiban - the Philippines' "Gold Coast". As it is, the children and men unearthing 60-80kg of gold per month see the lion's share of the wealth disappear into the Chinese black market.FULL SYNOPSIS