How Can I Help Stop Child Labor Mining Practices?
The first step you can take to help stop child labor mining practices is to be informed that it happens. Too many consumers are unaware that the products they use every day involve the hard labor of children. Research companies of products you regularly use, such as anything with a lithium-ion battery. These batteries use cobalt, a prized mineral mined in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where many children help dig it up.
For cobalt, you can check sources such as the Fair Cobalt Alliance for information on such manufacturers.1 Brilliant Earth, one group committed to diamonds free of child labor, reports that 46 percent of diamond miners in Angola are between the ages of 5 and 16.2 At the Food Empowerment Project, you can find a list of chocolate companies that do not use child labor.3
Another thing you can do to help stop child labor is support organizations like GFA World that provide viable alternatives to families who need reliable income. Part of the cycle of poverty is that families often get trapped in labor situations from which there is no escape. No matter how hard they work, they cannot earn enough to cover minimal expenses for survival. They cannot afford to send their children to school, so they take them out. Then things get more difficult, and they have to put their children to work.
GFA World steps in and helps these families with literacy training, skills training, income-generating gifts such as livestock and sewing machines and much more. This lift out of poverty is what families really need when they are faced with the unbearable decision of putting their 5-year-old to work with no schooling and no chance of a future beyond a field or a mine.
Not only does GFA World work hard to provide families with sustainable incomes, but they also bring the best news of all that there is hope beyond this difficult life. GFA missionaries are native to the regions they serve, so their hearts are particularly aligned with these communities. They want these people to know they are loved by God and seen by God.
Your support of a GFA missionary will bring the Good News and the hope of a better life to so many in need. You can meet GFA missionaries at https://www.gfa.org/sponsor/search/ and see the sweet faces of those who have committed their lives to some of the poorest people in the world. Choose one today to pray for and support. Through them, you will help shine the light of Christ into a dark corner of the world.Learn more about child labor in the fashion industry
1 Lawson, Michele Fabiola. “The DRC Mining Industry: Child Labor and Formalization of Small-Scale Mining.” Wilson Center. September 1, 2021. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/drc-mining-industry-child-labor-and-formalization-small-scale-mining?gclid=CjwKCAiAgbiQBhAHEiwAuQ6BkkMGeCbq8cr-XplmbI5SoCavSna7o0iF16yEuFwZWMAnUR1OD-c6TRoCLbMQAvD_BwE.
2 “Labor & Community.” Brilliant Earth. Accessed February 17, 2022. https://www.brilliantearth.com/conflict-diamond-child-labor/#:~:text=Because%20children%20are%20considered%20an,small%20part%20of%20the%20workforce.&text=As%20adults%2C%20these%20children%20often,to%20continue%20working%20as%20miners.
3 “Chocolate List.” Food Empowerment Project. Last updated January 19, 2022. https://foodispower.org/chocolate-list/.
* ILO Asia-Pacific. Flickr. https://flickr.com/photos/iloasiapacific/15898646897/.