A miner pushes a rail cart filled with ore up a slope, at the Pailaviri Mine in the city of Potosí, capital of Potosí Department in this photograph by Giacomo Pirozzi. Pailaviri is part of the Cerro Rico mines, which has been in operation for more than 470 years. The mine, once the world’s foremost supplier of silver, is now worked for lead, zinc and silver ore. In December 2013 in Bolivia, economic growth and government investment in basic social services continue to improve the lives of children and families. The country has achieved many Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including regarding extreme poverty, malnutrition, literacy, and gender equality; and a number of others are also on track.
However, despite notable progress that includes increased safe water and sanitation access, reduced infant mortality and a decline in chronic malnutrition among children under age three, challenges remain. Income, geographical and other disparities persist, particularly in rural communities. Despite a low unemployment rate, poverty remains high –with 45 per cent of the population living below the national poverty line. According to most data currently available, 11 per cent of children between the ages of 5 and 13 are involved in some form of labour, irrespective of their gender, with children sometimes working in dangerous conditions in the country’s harshest jobs – such as mining – to help support their families.
Christine Nesbitt is UNICEF’s Senior Photography Editor
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