Christian charity Tearfund have warned of child labour in extremely dangerous gold mines on the Ivory Coast.
A crisis within the agricultural sector – the foundation of the local economy – has forced people to look for alternative means of earning a wage.
Miners, some of whom are as young as ten, are at risk from toxic gas and shafts collapsing.
Tearfund is attempting to turn the tide on child labour in unsafe mines by working with churches to educate young people on the dangers of this kind of employment.
Richard Yao, Tearfund’s Country Director for Ivory Coast, said: “What we are doing in Ivory Coast is working through the local church and partners to address the issues of illegal mining.
“Through the partner we train young people in entrepreneurship and teach them how to start a business on their own, supported with a small grant, so that they can change their life.
“We also work alongside the local church who help young people to understand the dangers of illegal mining and show them that they need to get out of it by starting their own business with the support of our partners and the church.
“Through this they can make a living and also transform their lives.”