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High Price of Gold is Child Slave Labor

JEANETTE PAVINI’S BUYER BEWARE [from MarketWatch]

By Jeanette Pavini

Award-winning broadcast journalist and author Jeanette Pavini writes the Buyer Beware column for MarketWatch and wants to hear your stories, questions, problems and complaints. Write to her at BuyerBewareMKTW@gmail.com .

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold has been one of the greatest investment stories of the past decade, and its safe-haven appeal is likely to continue, with demand remaining solid for physical gold and gold jewelry. But regardless of the price gyrations in gold futures and demand, do we really know what the cost of gold is in human terms?

The surge in demand for physical gold has not only polished the fortunes of large mining companies, but has also driven a modern-day gold rush: The United Nations estimates there are between 15 million and 20 million gold miners in more than 70 countries worldwide.

What consumers need to be aware of is where the gold GLD -0.07%   and gold jewelry they purchase originates from. For the most part, gold comes from large-scale industrial mining operations which require skilled labor. Large mining operations in developing country can spur economic growth for the region.

But some artisanal and small-scale mining operations, known as ASMs, operate in poorer regions and places where child exploitation and human trafficking is common. Read more

Child Labor Rates Go Up in Colombia

BOGOTA, May 2 (UPI) — Colombia experienced a sharp rise in the volume of child workers in the last five years, officials say a study reveals.

A report by the non-profit communications agency PANDI said there was about a 35 percent spurt in child labor between 2007 and 2009, Colombia Reports said Monday.

The agency said at least 1,050,147 children were employed in 2009 compared with about 787,000 in 2007.

Colombia’s rural areas constitute the highest proportion of the child workers with 37 percent of the underage workforce associated with some form of agricultural work.

The current law permits children to work up to 14 hours per week.

At least 58 percent of child laborers work more than the daily maximum, while 11 percent work more than 48 hours a week.

The rise in the underage workforce has been primarily attributed to the global economic crisis.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.… Read the rest

Child labor rates go up in Colombia

BOGOTA, May 2 (UPI) — Colombia experienced a sharp rise in the volume of child workers in the last five years, officials say a study reveals.

A report by the non-profit communications agency PANDI said there was about a 35 percent spurt in child labor between 2007 and 2009, Colombia Reports said Monday.

Read more