The Region Seven child protection officer is investigating the reported case of a child working in the mines at the Puruni backdam, the Childcare and Protection Agency (CC&PA) said on Tuesday.
This announcement in a statement was in response to a story in the Tuesday’s edition of Stabroek News, which indicated that more than a month after it was reported that the child was seen working in a mining pit he was still in the backdam.
The agency said it is aware of its pivotal role in arresting the troubling trend of children working in the mines and added that it is taking the necessary steps “to bring the responsible agencies to collaboratively address this issue.”
It further said, “The is in the interest of addressing the root causes of the problem of children working in the mines and creating long term solutions for the prevention of exploitation of our children.”
President of the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) Simona Broomes had early last month told this newspaper of the child working in the mining pit and had produced photographs to substantiate the discovery.
She told this newspaper that she made two trips back to the backdam, one as recent as last weekend, and the child was still seen working even though he ran and hid whenever he heard a vehicle approaching.
She had questioned why the relevant authorities had not taken steps to remove the child from the dangerous area or at least to ensure that he attended school.