Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Larry C. Price will present his work on child gold miners on Tuesday, April 8 at a special talks @ pulitzer. Larry will show work from the Philippines, Burkina Faso and Indonesia where children, some as young as four, smash boulders, haul 60-pound bags of ore, handle mercury and other toxic materials, and dive underwater into deep pits.
Although large foreign countries had mined Burkina Faso gold for almost half a century, it wasn't until the famines of the 1980s forced families off their farms that artisanal or small-scale mining took root. Now, to maximize profits, entire families work the mines—this means putting children to work as child laborers. Gold fever shows no sign of ending.
The Philippines produced more than 1 million troy ounces of gold in 2011, ranking 18th in world production. More than half of that gold came from small-scale mines. In these mines, many of them illegal, entire families, including very young children, dig, pan, crush and haul rock. Children risk injury and death and face long-term health problems caused by back-breaking labor, exposure to dust and chemicals and, worst of all, mercury poisoning. Indonesia and the Philippines officially ban child labor, the burning of mercury and most small-scale gold mining. But in both countries, pervasive corruption, payoffs to local officials and weak central governments make it difficult to curb these practices, especially in remote areas.
In his Pulitzer Center-supported projects The Cost of Gold: Child Labor in Burkina Faso and Philippines: The Cost of Gold Larry introduces us to the child miners whose lives are risked for the sake of gold.
We'll start the evening with a light reception at 5:30 pm, followed by remarks at 6 pm.
Space is limited so reserve your seat today: firstname.lastname@example.org—specify in subject line: "April 8 Talks @ Pulitzer."
Tuesday, April 8
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 615
Washington, DC 20036
Closest Metro: Dupont Circle
The event will be livestreamed using Google Hangout on Air. Watch above (refresh the page if you do not see a video) or on YouTube. Tweet your questions to @pulitzercenter.
Larry's talk is the first in a special series of talks@ on issues affecting women and children. Other events in the series will feature the work of Pulitzer Center journalists such as Ameto Akpe on the effect of U.S. development projects on women's health in Nigeria, Allison Shelley on reproductive health also in Nigeria, Mellissa Fung on the education of girls in Afghanistan, Katherine Zoepf on Saudi women entering the workforce, Steve Sapienza on sex workers in Cambodia who are battling stigma and HIV, and Amy Toensing on widows in India—both unwanted and unprotected. Details to follow.
Larry is one of eleven journalists featured in our newest e-book "Tarnished: The True Cost of Gold." In honor of Larry's talks@pulitzer, we are making "Tarnished" available for free April 7–11. Download here: http://bit.ly/costofgold