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What...If Something Went Wrong

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“The first time I went inside, I was 14 years old. I was scared. I kept thinking what would happen to me if something went wrong.”
—Jacob, 17, Malaya, Camarines Norte, June 2015

Thousands of children in the Philippines risk their lives every day mining gold. Children work in unstable 25-meter-deep pits that could collapse at any moment. They mine gold underwater, along the shore, or in rivers, with oxygen tubes in their mouths. They also process gold with mercury, a toxic metal, risking irreversible health damage from mercury poisoning.