The Solidarity with Central Africa Commission of the German section of Pax Christi and the organisation Eirene Grands Lacs, in cooperation with the Burundi Press House, have produced a short promotional film, "Gold and Misery" denouncing not only child labour in a gold mine in Misisi in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo but also the situation of women and men working there under penal conditions.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has immense and important mineral resources that may be able to ensure the well-being of its population and children. Unfortunately, despite all these enormous mining potentialities, the country is in endemic poverty. As the people live in very precarious conditions, children with no prospect of a future are left to their own devices. They are usually forced to work in mines instead of going to school. The working conditions of these children are atrocious. Like adults, they work tirelessly and without any basic protection or safety measures. The holes are dug hundreds of meters deep, so those who enter them are constantly exposed to the risk of asphyxiation, hole collapse or other fatal accidents. All this happens under the silent complicity of the state and the international community.
UNICEF Article 32 on the rights of the child is clear on this subject: “States Parties recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child 's education, or to be harmful to the child 's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.”
How long do we have to remain indifferent? Through the publication of this short documentary film, we want to raise awareness among the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the international community, and civil society organisations around the world not to remain indifferent to the unfair fate that the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo have generally suffered for decades and particularly children...