China Coal Miners
The economic miracle of China is having a devastating effect on the lives of millions of Chinese people.
32 imagesChina is recorded as being the world's biggest coal producer yet it has also the recorded world's worst mining conditions responsible for thousands of deaths each year. According to China Labour Bulletin, the death rate in China's coal mines is approx. 10.000 a year or 27 coal miners a day. The photo reportage "The Dark Truth: Coal Miners of China" exposes some of the working conditions in the world largest coal industry, an industry that is fuelling the Economic "Miracle" of China (Orville Shell, published by www.project-syndicate in its China Stands Up). Guizho is a mountainous region rich of coal in South West China with a large population consisting of small minorities. Nowadays, an ever increasing number, estimated to be in the thousands of Chinese workers come into this region in desperate search of work. As a result, in Guizho as in in the rest of China there are numerous illegal coal mines which are opened with the tacit accord of corrupt town sheriffs and do not comply to any health and safety standards. When accidents occur these illegal small mines are just shut down as if they never existed neither the families are notified of deaths or injuries to avoid paying any claims. The workers safety and human rights are not taken into account; many mines have only one exit leaving the workers with just one way out in case of underground explosions, cave-ins or flooding. Unprotected clothing, safety equipments, poor housing have also damaged the health of many. They exploit the desperation of poor people that unable to feed their families are willing to risk their lives in illegal and unsafe work conditions.