Why does Economic Dependence on Product Exports in Underdeveloped Countries

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The landlocked country of Burkina Faso ranks 183 out of 187 countries in the 2012 Human Development Index, indicating that the quality of life in the African country is tremendously low (World Bank). Despite the United States having contributed $520 million to the underdeveloped country in recent years in an act of humanitarianism; Burkina Faso is still economically unstable, forcing them to heavily depend on their most profitable industries (Kerry). Gold mining is currently a source of income that the country is greatly relying on. In order to grow financially, gold mine managers have resorted to trafficking children for the worst forms of labor, driving them out of their schools and away from their families. Economic dependence on product exports in the underdeveloped country of Burkina Faso leads to child labor because perilous conditions must be endured, low wages must be paid, and workers must be willing to labor.

The revenue made from gold mining in Burkina Faso is mainly produced by Burkinabe children, seeing that mining is a hazardous undertaking that comes with low wages. Burkina Faso is a newcomer in the scene of gold mining, as production has more than doubled, reaching 32 tons of gold in 2012 and increasing by 41% from 2010 to 2011 (DFATD). More than 200 gold mines are spread out all through the country, most of them remote and unknown of (Price). These remote locations are difficult for organizations such as local NGOs, UN Gift, and Interpol to track down, making the chances of arresting a trafficker quite slim. Children are brought to these mining sites, because the conditions there are very difficult to work in. Employers make their workforce work 14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. Workers only receive room and boar...

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Price, Larry C. "Burkina Faso: Childhoods Lost in the Gold Mines." Pulitzer Center. Pulitzer Center, 28 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. .

Price, Larry C. "Children in Burkina Faso Take on Dirty, Dangerous Work of Digging Up Gold." PBS. PBS, 10 July 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. .

Sollinger, Marc. "Children Mining for Gold in Burkina Faso." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. .

Van De Glind, Hans. "Migration and Child Labour." UN GIFT HUB. UNODC, Sept. 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. .

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