Cameroon launches project to stamp out child labour in gold mining
The Xinhua reported, authorities of Cameroon's National Mining Corporation (SONAMINES) on Tuesday launched a project to stamp out child labour in small-scale gold mines in the country's East region that harbours more than 300 mining sites.
Jonathan Fru, deputy general manager of SONAMINES said, the project dubbed "zero children in gold mines" will discourage children from working in minefields and enhance their education.
Fru told reporters while launching the project in the mining village of Kambele: "SONAMINES is here today in an effort to support and encourage our children to stay out of the mines. We discovered that our children have abandoned the classrooms and now spend all their time in the minefields and this has jeopardized their education."
According to the Xinhua, officials donated school material and cash to support children and teachers to go to school.
Fru added: "The project has just started. This is just the pilot phase. Our intention is to put our collaborators on the field to ensure that these children who have received this material use it in school."
The Xinhua mentioned, there are no official statistics but local NGOs speculate that over 20,000 children work in gold mines in Cameroon.
It added that in early September, the Cameroonian government promised to offer free primary education to children who leave the mines.
The Xinhua noted, SONAMINES was created last year by a presidential decree to promote and regulate mining activities in the Central African nation.