It is hard to imagine what they have to go through: children whose daily routine is to crawl into tunnels that are constantly in danger of collapsing. Just to scrape out a handful of coals to be sold for a few rupees. The situation in Indian coal mines, captured by Australian photographer Daniel Berehulak, gives an idea of the appalling conditions of child workers forced to work in coal mines in the Jaintia Hills in the Indian state of Meghalaya. The number of underage workers in these hills is disputed: according to Indian child rights organization Impulse, there are up to 70,000.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child guarantees every child the right to be protected from child labor. In 2006, the Indian government changed the law and made it illegal for children under 14 to be employed as domestic workers. A decision confirmed by the Indian government once again in November 2012.
But the small boy struggling to clean and break the coals simply has no choice. This job is his only means of survival.
Curriculum Vitae: Daniel Berehulak
Daniel Berehulak is a photojournalist for Getty Images News Service, based in India. A native of Sydney, Australia, Daniel studied History at the University of New South Wales. Daniel’s photographic career began shooting sports in Australia; in 2005 he relocated to London as a staff photographer for Getty. Daniel has worked in over 40 countries, covering a wide range of stories including the war in Iraq, Saddam Hussein's trial, child labor in India, Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan, the Pakistan floods and more recently the aftermath of the Japanese Tsunami and transition and transformation in Libya and Egypt.
Daniel has won several awards including two World Press Photo Awards, the John Faber Award from the Overseas Press Club of America, Photo of the Year China International Press Photo and runner up for the Pulitzer Prize.
Daniel's photos have appeared regularly in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, Stern, Time and Newsweek.