12-Hour Workdays for Child Miner in Burkina Faso

Karim Sawadogo thinks he is nine years old, but isn't sure. He's a child miner in the west African nation of Burkina Faso. He spends 12-hour workdays cooking meals, fetching water and chipping away inside a dusty gold mine, filling buckets with ore. "My dream is to make enough money so I don't have to do this anymore."

Watch Video Watch the full report on children who work in the gold mines of Burkina Faso on Wednesday's PBS NewsHour. Video footage by Larry C. Price. Edited by Noreen Nasir.

Karim Sawadogo thinks he is nine years old, but isn't sure. He was once a goat herder near his home in the northwest Burkina Faso, but left that life to come work with his uncle in a gold mine in the Kouékowéra camp, in the southwestern part of the African nation.

Now he spends his days cooking meals, fetching water and chipping away inside the mine, filling buckets with ore. He spoke with photojournalist Larry C. Price, who visited the gold mines throughout the southwest. Karim described his daily activities to Price through a translator. "My dream is to get money," he said. He wants to get out of the gold mines.

On Wednesday, PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Hari Sreenivasan explores life in the hazardous gold mines of Burkina Faso and the status of child labor in the camps. View more of our international coverage on our World page.

Larry C. Price received funding for this story from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. View more of his work on its project page, The Cost of Gold: Child Labor in Burkina Faso.

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