PDN Photo of the Day

The Real Price of Gold (10 Photos)

The Real Price of Gold (10 Photos)

All photos © Larry C. Price/Redux

Photojournalist Larry C. Price became interested in documenting child labor issues after working on several magazine stories in Africa and Central America. Price witnessed firsthand the plight of children in developing countries and is currently pursuing projects that can help expose exploitation and abuse.  In December of 2011, Price traveled to the Philippines to begin the first part of an ongoing project documenting child labor in gold mines.  The global rise in the price of gold has propelled an unprecedented demand for gold. The payoff is great and children, some as young as 4, are used to pan, haul ore and even work below ground. Working with an environmental group in the Philippines, Price was able to secure unprecedented access to remote regions of the Philippine gold fields where he saw children working with picks, hammers and their bare hands. “I was overwhelmed,” he says. “I knew the situation was grim but I wasn’t prepared to see how hard the children were expected to work. Some of the young ones were carrying 50-pound bags of ore.” Price wants to continue the project and is working on plans to travel to other child-labor hotspots in Asia and Africa this year. “This is one theme that is really difficult to get a lens on. But the camera really is the best way to tell this story,” Price explains.


-courtesy Larry C. Price












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  1. when I saw the shot of the little boy crying, I just wanted to grab him. goodness gracious, this is a sad thing here. so what in the world do we do? I mean, really?

  2. We quit acting as if Capitalism will save the world. This is the result of capitalism; the result of self will run riot; the result of people who “have” thinking that all that matters is themselves and them not having to pay taxes.

    Capitalism is an amoral tool because tools do not have morality. When you worship at the altar of a tool, the most you can hope to be is amoral. Unfortunately, amoral is not the worst you can become.

  3. Driven by greed and poverty. Unfortunately the people who work in these operations are some of the poorest in the world and they either work themselves or sell their children as bonded labour so they can eat.

    The things we can do are not buy anything that is produced in an unethical manner, and contribute to programes that alleviate poverty.

  4. What a great set of photos and also a shocking one. It’s very difficult to know where gold comes from-if you are using a mobile phone or a computer, there are gold contacts in those and no way of telling where the gold was sourced. Ethical fair trade is the best way to go, but difficult to put into practise.

  5. A horrifying dilemma. The suggestion is the people work… or sell their children as bonded labour so they can eat. So the recommended action.. do not buy anything they produce… simply translates into Sell Their Children. Is that an outcome that really makes sense? Punish the poor by destroying their livelihood? Force them into starvation or selling off their children by cutting off their only hope of income? That’s a good and humane idea?

    The real answer is feed and educate them, provide them the skills they need and the tools to work with to advance themselves as a people and society. A huge portion of the missionary work carried out by religious organizations throughout the world has tried to do exactly that. So look inward, associate with those groups who advance the lives of these people, and BUY their products to give them the income they need to advance themselves, their families, and their society. Don’t turn your back on them– and feel all good about it– by economically boycotting their only source to live on.

  6. “Capitalism is an amoral tool because tools do not have morality.” Wow, how brilliant. Not. This is one of the most ridiculous anti-capitalist statements I’ve ever read, yet this photo essay is not about capitalism, unless one lives in a fantasy world. I am supposing that Maria Powers would say communism is a better answer to a capitalist system, but of course does not offer any solutions.
    What would be the currency in your fantasy system? Rutabagas? Not gold, I gather, because some people have a difficult life in mining it. Not all, but some as pictured here. So that of course brings out the anti-capitalist sentiment in the weak minded-a little photo essay that shows one side of the story, with future awards and gold backed currency as the prize. How ironic.

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