Don’t Let Children Work as Slaves in Gold Mines

Target: Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure, Mali Prime Minister Cisse Mariam Kaidama Sidibe.

Goal: To end child slavery in Mali’s gold mines.

Children are recruited to work in Mali’s artisanal gold mines when they are as young as six years old. They are exposed to Mercury which is a very dangerous toxin produced in making gold that can cause neurological impairment. Although child labor is illegal in Mali, nothing is being done to eradicate this issue. It is estimated that 20,000-40,000 children work in Mali’s mines; they endure exposure to toxins, accidents in unstable pits and physical abuse.

Children interviewed complained of respiratory problems or recurring pain in their muscles and joints. Often these children work to help support their poor families, both their education and childhood is stolen from them. Even if they escape the abusive situation they are likely to endure long term problems from the toxins they are exposed to. Mali must take action by removing these children from the mines and ensuring that they are not working in such horrific conditions. We can also pressure Mali to forbid such working conditions for children and make sure the gold we buy does not come from these mines. Beneath the glamor of gold is an industry tainted by the sweat and blood of innocent children.


Dear Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure, Mali Prime Minister Cisse Mariam Kaidama Sidibe,

Children should not be used in the gold mining industry, it is cruel and exposes them to Mercury. These children should be protected by the government, they should have the right to their childhood and education. Surely if forced to work in these conditions a child will never be physically or mentally the same again.

Please take the necessary measures to remove these children from the gold mines and ensure that no more are recruited to work in such horrific conditions. It is your responsibility to ensure that these innocent children are protected.


[Your name here]


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  1. Milla de Villiers says:

    Children should be protected and sheltered, not abused and enslaved by grownups. Exposing them to hard labour and poisoning them in the process is nothing short of criminal. The use of child labour should be made illegal with immediate effect.

  2. Linda Indyke says:

    Having children work under the cruel conditions in Mali amounts to child abuse. The fact that they work with toxic materials can lead to an early death. And not just that – by being deprived of an education, these children have no hope of improving their own lives. Such a waste!

  3. Parents should be paid more so that they wouldn’t need to send their children to work in the mine: they could survive without depending on their kids’ work and these could go to school instead.

  4. kari klausman says:

    Please save your only real national treasure your children, your future. If they are not around to perpetuate a future for your country no one ele will pass on your customs or beliefs. That’s a very real tradegy your facing. Find another way to make money. Bring in trained miners, pay the money.

  5. A huge & daily sadness, abused & discarded children….when will humanity find their heart for humanity?

  6. Gold mines aren’t necessary or respectful of the environment anyway.

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