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  • Writer's pictureYe Prayas

Children and Digital Dumpsites


“Children and Digital Dumpsites” is the name of a report that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published. The study presents the most recent research on the connections between unofficial e-waste recycling practices and the effects on children’s health. The risk that youngsters working in the unregulated processing of outdated electronic equipment, or “e-waste,” pose was also highlighted in the research.

Key conclusions of the report “Children and Digital Dumpsites” are as follows:

· Around 12.9 million women and up to 18 million kids as young as five work at e-waste landfills each year.

· Every year, e-waste from high-income nations is dumped in low- or middle-income nations for processing. Children disassemble and recycle this e-waste.

· Over 1,000 precious metals as well as other materials like gold, copper, mercury, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are present in this e-waste.

· The technique is much more hazardous since low-income nations lack adequate safeguarding rules.

· Moreover, due to their small size and nimble hands, youngsters are especially welcomed at these dumpsites. These locations employ a number of women, including pregnant ladies.

E-Waste has a significant impact on many facets of society. Children who labor at these e-waste disposal sites are more likely to have poor lung function, deoxyribonucleic acid damage, and chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease. Children have a lower ability to digest or eliminate contaminants that they have ingested. Premature births and stillbirths are possible as a result of the chemicals that are exposed to women during the processing of e-waste. Families and communities that live close to these e-waste dumpsites are also affected by the dangerous effects of working there.

The report has demanded that e-waste be monitored, safely disposed of, and that people become more aware of the effects it has on the health of children and women who labor at these dumpsites.

Old, obsolete, or abandoned electronic devices are referred to as “E-Waste” (Electronic-Waste). It covers, among other things, computers, smartphones, and consumer gadgets. The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership reports that e-waste production is rising quickly over the world. In 2019, around 53.6 million tones of e-waste were produced. Only 17.4% of this e-waste, however, was recycled formally. The remainder was dumped in low- or middle-income nations for unauthorized processing by undocumented labourers. Additionally, due to the surge in cellphones and laptops, this is probably going to rise in the upcoming years.

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