Yep, free trade creates jobs, all right!

Unfortunately, a lot of them are child labor.

The Social Protection Minister Diego Palacio said that over 200 thousand children are working as miners in Colombia specially in deposits in Choco, Boyaca, Antioquia, Caldas, Cundinamarca and Nariño departments.

Palacio admitted that situation is growing more complicated every day because of the lack of control by the legal authorities that have been given the responsibility and obligation of checking, controlling and even closing those mines.


He assured that child exploitation in the mining sector appears in the illegal holes created by family groups that do not fulfil the minimum security conditions.

After recalling that about three thousand children were taken out of the mines between 2003 and 2004 the minister affirmed the programs to keep children at school remain aimed at reducing child labour even more.

(Corrections to text mine.)

A Colombian child miner

“You see the loaded eyes of the children too

Trying to make the best of it the way kids do

One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast

To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast

They call the Revolution

IMF, dirty MF

Takes away everything it can get

Always making certain that there’s one thing left

Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

And they call it democracy

And they call it democracy

And they call it democracy

And they call it democracy…”

–Bruce Cockburn, “Call it Democracy”

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