Child Mining Essay

Submitted By x0xlaylax0x
Words: 3369
Pages: 14

The purpose of this report is to determine whether or not child mining is an ethical issue that deserves our attention. There are two contradicting views of child mining. One side that supports children working in mines by saying that it is an essential part of their survival and that all parties benefit from the process. The other side argues that it is a harmful and dangerous practice that takes away the child’s right to a safe life. To understand each sides argument we researched the subject in depth to determine all parties involved, cost and benefits received by each member, and the consequences of the children being in the mines. Ethical theories that were found to support child mining are Consequential Theories, which include: Utilitarianism and Altruism. The theories that go against child mining are Rights Theories and Virtue Ethics. They work under dangerous conditions where they are exposed to toxic chemicals, death due to mines collapsing above them, and injuries due to lack of experience. These children do not go to school because they are in the mines but they are able to eat. After careful consideration a decision was reached that child mining is unethical and the issue needs to be resolved. Some ways include stricter government regulations, institutions that pay the children to attend school, homes for children to live in so they are not pressured into working in a mine, and company and consumer awareness of gold that comes from mines that use child labor. After reading this paper the audience will be able to see the route taken to come to this conclusion and the validity behind the decision and resolution.

Hundreds of thousands of children around the world take part in the labor force of mining gold, diamonds, cocoa plant and many other resources. Some of these children range in ages from 5 up to 16. These children work in countries where the legal age to work starts at 18. These children work under dangerous conditions where they are asked to perform actions that many consider to be unethical. These jobs involve the risk of children being killed from explosions, rock falls, exposure to toxic chemicals, and self-induced injuries due to lack of training experience. This has become a significant issue in our society since more light has been shed on the risks and dangers that these children go through on a daily basis. Many businesses in the United States receive their raw materials such as gold, diamonds, and cocoa from countries that employ underage children. There are many opposing arguments on child labor as some people take the side that children should not be involved in these jobs while others make the argument that the alternative may be worse than what the children are currently engaged in. This is an important topic in Ethics in Business because there are several theories that apply to this issue such as; Rights Theories, Consequential Theories, Virtue Ethics, and Deontological Theories. Tanzania is a country in East Africa where children are employed in small-scale gold mines. This country is the fourth largest gold producer in Africa. Children as young as eight years old are working in these mines for up to 24 hour shifts. These gold companies do not provide safety gear such as gloves and face masks. The children handle the gold with their bare hands and breathe in toxins when the gold is being burned. Due to this the children are exposed to toxins such as, “Mercury, which is particularly harmful to children, attacks the central nervous system and can cause tremors and twitching, memory loss, and irreversible brain damage as well as damage to the kidneys and the lungs. A doctor in Papua New Guinea who treated small-scale miners for mercury poisoning, described his patients staring blankly at the wall as like “zombies” (Neff). Mercury is very dangerous because it causes developmental and neurological problems and is particularly harmful to children. We also see that