Stop Poisoning and Injuring Child Workers in Cobalt Mines

Target: Félix Tshisekedi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DCR) President

Goal: Stop the use of child labor in cobalt mines.

Within the Congo alone, it is reported that 40,000 children work in cobalt mines. There are about 1,000 reported deaths a year through this work environment. The mines present workers with cobalt-laden dust that can attack their respiratory system, and if that’s not dangerous enough, the mines’ tunnels can collapse at any time. Workers have to dig into the mines with inadequate tools, or even with their bare hands, causing an excruciating work environment that goes hours over the typical work shift. The mines’ workers are reported to make about $2 a day, which is nowhere near minimum wage. Every time a child steps into a mine, they have the potential to lose their life, all for a paycheck that cannot be lived on.

Children working in these conditions are exposed to many cancer-causing chemicals. They are forced to do manual labor that is exhausting and emits harmful materials into their cities. Child labor laws have been touched on, but the type of work children are forced to do within the mines has not changed. Their lives continue to be put at risk in an attempt to get their families out of poverty. The families of these children worry if their kids will come home from work that day, and this is a fear that cannot go on any longer.

Every day, these children’s lives are threatened by working in such a hazardous environment, all for an insufficient paycheck. Their lives can be preserved by enforcing stricter child labor laws. Sign this petition to protest the drastic conditions children have to face within cobalt mines.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear DCR President Tshisekedi,

With the thousands of lives lost through cobalt mines, children are at risk every time they step inside. They are exposed to carcinogens and other harmful materials that can end their lives prematurely. Mine tunnels often collapse, presenting further risk to workers. Children need to be protected from this backbreaking labor in such a dangerous environment.

We urge you to enforce stricter child labor laws to not only restrict the type of work these children are forced to complete, but also increase their pay. Mine workers are drastically underpaid for the type of work they do. If nothing is done, children will continue to lose their lives and work for an unethical amount of pay.

Please help these children by instating stronger child labor laws to preserve their lives within cobalt mines.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Julien Harneis


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