Children and Digital Dumpsites report:
The new report, titled Children and Digital Dumpsites, was recently released by the WHO.
- More than 18 million children and adolescents working at e-waste dumpsites in low- and middle-income countries are potentially at the risk of severe health hazards.
- They face risk due to discarded electronic devices or e-waste being dumped from high-income countries.
- e-waste contains over 1,000 precious metals and other substances like gold, copper, mercury, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- The processing is done in low-income countries, which do not have proper safeguarding regulations and which makes the process even more dangerous.
- Children are especially preferred at these dumpsites because of their small and dexterous hands.
- Several women, including expectant mothers, also work there. Processing e-waste exposes them as well as their children to these toxins, which can lead to premature births and stillbirth.
- The hazardous impact of working at such sites is also experienced by families and communities that reside in the vicinity of these e-waste dumpsites.