• Illegal Coal Miners
    Bosnia And Herzegovina
  • In Kakanj, an industrial city not far from Sarajevo, there's one of the largest coal mines in Bosnia Herzegovina. Who dig in this place are not only the employed workers of the mine company, but also hundreds of illegal miners, who pay the security men to turn a blind eye over them. Men, women and young boys load up 50 kilos bags of coal to sell them on the black market for 2EUR per bag. Young ones do this because there's no occupation and fathers because they've lost their job. Up and down the hill, there's a mass of people and wheelbarrows. Miners dig in the day but mostly in the night, when the police controls are less frequent. If a police officer stops them, they can avoid problems giving him some money.
    No one is interested in stopping this illegal activity. It's not convenient for those who get money, neither for the municipality of Kakanj, because as long as they keep digging, the Governement don't have to worry about finding them a legal job. Ednan (13) and Elhan (16) during the week they go to school, but in the weekend they help their families in digging coal.
    Ferid Sinan is a former soldier. He doesn't even have a house and lives in tunnels digged into the mine. When it rains there's the risk to get trapped into them, so he sleeps outside. In Kakanj the coal mine is in the same time a resource and a prison, it depends on which side you are.