A deadly gamble

In A Deadly Gamble, Seng Mai and Zin Min explore the extreme dangers of working in Myanmar’s ‘Land of Jade’ in Kachin State. Swarms of workers pick through waste dumped by mining companies late into the night in the hope of finding a precious stone that will offer a route out of poverty.

Date issued: 20 July 2020 | Size/duration: 00:02:16

At least 193 people perished in a mudslide on 2 July 2020, and many more jade pickers die in accidents each year.
Some of the workers are children, and this photo-documentary provides us with a glimpse into the life of San Min Htet, who at 13 has already spent two years on the mine’s steep slopes.
Is the payoff worth the risk for San Min Htet and his fellow workers? What more can be done to protect these children?
Myanmar ratified ILO Minimum Age Convention (No.138) on June 08 2020. This convention prevents employment of children below national legal working age (14 in Myanmar), and hazardous work for all under-18s. The next step will be ensuring this legal change leads to action.
This short documentary is part of a World Day Against Child Labour awareness-raising campaign produced by PhotoDoc and the ILO in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population and the Embassy of Switzerland.