The Mines Of Stolen Innocence


Nyari Garrett, Staff Writer

As Americans, we have become accustomed to luxuries, and quite honestly reliant on their usage. Unfortunately, we often don’t realize the dehumanization our need for luxuries causes. In Madagascar, young children are being forced to collect a material called mica. Mica is a collection of minerals that are grouped together to form a whole sheet with different layers, used in a lot of our luxuries. Mica is used in American products such as electronics, automotives, and cosmetics. Madagascar has been shown to be the largest exporter of mica, and this is the consequence of the coerced child labor that goes on here. These poor children mine mica from sunrise to sunset, and suffer through conditions that no child should ever be exposed to. This issue has been ignored for far too long, people need to be aware of this conflict their want for luxuries can be put into question. Our American demand for luxuries should never harm the well being of others.
The mica mines are primarily located in the city of Andranondambo, also where the majority of children and families live that work in the mines. Andranondambo is filled with political instability, drought, rampant poverty, and rising levels of banditry. When these children are working they not only suffer through horrible conditions, but fear for their lives. They have to endure the constant fear of being killed because of the draining poverty that plagues their city. Working families only receive 3 cups of rice and 3 pennies as compensation for their labor. We as privileged citizens need to do everything in our power to assist these poor children and their suffering families. What these children have to go through is so heartbreaking and needs to stop now.
A young boy named Manjorza says “My mother doesn’t make enough money, so I have to help her make money”. I can’t imagine the despair in his mothers eyes knowing that her son has to sacrifice his childhood to support his family. We Americans need to stop obsessing over when the next iPhone is going to come out, or getting the newest car and think about how we can restore these poor human beings lives to an ideal, blissful reality.