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Hazardous Life of Child Gold Miners in Tanzania


The gold industry has a responsibility to ensure it does not benefit directly or indirectly from unlawful child labour, Human Rights Watch said. Yet most gold traders Human Rights Watch interviewed in Tanzania had no procedures to keep gold mined by children out of their supply chains.

Small traders typically purchase gold directly at the mines or in mining towns and then sell it to larger traders in Tanzania. Sometimes the gold passes through several intermediaries before reaching the traders who export the gold. According to the Tanzanian Government, small-scale miners produced about 1.6 tons of gold in 2012 – worth about US $ 85 million.

The top destination for gold from Tanzanian small-scale mines is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Gold is also exported to Switzerland, South Africa, China, and the United Kingdom.

“Whether small or large, Tanzanian or global, businesses should avoid becoming entangled with unlawful child labour in their supply chains,” Morna said. “As those with the buying power, gold traders have leverage over their suppliers. They should use it to protect children and to protect consumers from buying gold tainted by child labour.”


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Source: Human Rights Watch.