Family hardship and cultural values: child labor in Malian artisanal gold mining communities
Hilson, G. (2012) Family hardship and cultural values: child labor in Malian artisanal gold mining communities. World Development, 40 (8). pp. 1663-1674. ISSN 0305-750X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.03.017
This paper contributes to the debate on child labor in small-scale mining communities, focusing specifically on the situation in sub-Saharan Africa. It argues that the child labor now widespread in many of the region’s small-scale mining communities is a product of a combination of cultural issues, household-level poverty and rural livelihood diversification. Experiences from Komana West, a subsistence gold panning area in Southern Mali, are drawn upon to make this case. The findings suggest that the sector’s child labor “problem” is far more nuanced than international organizations and policymakers have diagnosed.