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Institutional bottlenecks stifling efforts for monitoring and preventing child labour in small-scale gold mines in Tanzania

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This paper is based on a study aimed at identifying and analysing institutional arrangements that are responsible for stifling anti-child labour actors’ intervention actions for monitoring and prevention of child labour in small-scale gold mining sites in Kahama and Igunga districts, Tanzania. The study employed a qualitative research method and data were gathered from a sample size of 73 respondents drawn from Kahama and Igunga districts through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and documentary reviews. Two categories of institutional arrangements that are responsible for stifling actions taken by anti-child labour actors to control and stop child labour in small-scale gold mining sites were identified. These include formal and informal institutional arrangements evolving from within the households, community and local governance systems. This paper proposes that there is a need for anti-child labour actors and policy makers to develop area-based policy interventions that effectively address these multi-tiered institutional arrangements rooted within the household and community levels for successful monitoring and abolition of child labour in small-scale gold mining communities.

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Data availability

The interviews generated and analysed during the current study are not publicly available to protect the identities of participants, but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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We extend our profound gratitude to the university and all government authorities at regional and district levels for granting us the permission to conduct this study in our targeted areas. We also acknowledge the cooperation we received from all anonymous respondents at regional level in Tabora and Shinyanga as well as those in Igunga and Kahama districts. The contribution of other individuals and officials concerned with child labour eradication at national level is also acknowledged.


This study did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Authors and Affiliations



All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Interview preparations, collection of interviews, qualitative data analysis, drafting the manuscript were performed by MKM. EPN performed supervision, review and editing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Martin K. Malima.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Institute of Development Studies’ Postgraduate Committee of the University of Dar es Salaam. The research was conducted in accordance with the general regulations and guidelines for postgraduate programmes.

Informed consent

The consent to participate in the study was obtained from all relevant government authorities, participants and children’s legal guardians. All participants were asked to sign on a consent form which is available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Malima, M.K., Niboye, E.P. Institutional bottlenecks stifling efforts for monitoring and preventing child labour in small-scale gold mines in Tanzania. SN Soc Sci 2, 108 (2022).

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