Minors in the quarry | Bangkok Post: news

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Minors in the quarry

With little hope for a better future, children are doing hard labour to provide income for their struggling families, while organisations call for increased access to education and protection

  • Published: | Viewed: 2,539 | Comments: 1
  • Newspaper section: Spectrum
  • Writer: Yola Verbruggen
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Every day Myat Phyu walks to work and back. “It is very near so I can walk, it is only one hour,” she says while drops of sweat roll down her forehead. The walk is the least strenuous part of her day. For 2,000 kyat a day, about 67 baht, she works in a quarry in Myanmar’s Mon state. Her job is to hack large stones into smaller ones, then load them into a bucket before throwing them onto a large pile which will be sold. 

Victim of poverty: A 13-year-old girl works at a quarry to help her family meet their basic living costs. photo : Thet Oo Maung

Myat Phyu — not her real name — works in the quarry seven days a week from 7am to 4pm, resting only during a two-hour lunch break. She is 16 years old and, even though she has reached the legal working age, the work is heavy and dangerous for the health and development of a child. There are five more girls around the same age working in the quarry. A 13-year-old boy, the only child worker there still attending school, is earning some extra money for his family during the school holidays.

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