They carry heavy loads of sand, tirelessly pound rocks in intense heat, breathe poisonous dust and handle mercury with their bare hands. They are children, forced to endure unsafe working conditions as mining slaves.
Their situation is documented in a new film by students from Chapman University in California. It’s called There Is No Place For You Here. The student filmmakers were assisted by the Social Support Foundation (SSF) in Ghana, a FTS partner. The short documentary is being shown in film festivals around the world.
In the film, 15-year-old Daniel walks us through the dusty, hot mining sites where he works, dreaming of a better life. Small-scale informal gold mining is found throughout Ghana. Although it’s illegal and highly dangerous, it often involves children as young as 11.
FTS works in Ghana to support children like Daniel, and to change the systems that allow child slavery to exist.
Through our collaboration, SSF has assisted more than 10 communities to raise awareness of child slavery and provide options for removing children from mines. FTS is also working with a Ghanaian consulting firm, Participatory Development Associates, to pilot a child rights project in the district where Daniel and others like him live. The goal is to help communities organize themselves to address the root causes of child slavery.
Keep your eye out for screenings of There Is No Place For You Here.