Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Child labor in Iraq rising along with poverty

Rising death tolls and increased poverty are being accompanied by an increase in child labor in Iraq, IRIN reported today.

“I have no choice. Life in Iraq has turned into hell,” said 12-year-old Abdel-Salim, who left school six months ago to help support his family.

According to the United Nations Children’s Agency (UNICEF), 11 percent of Iraqi children under the age of 14 are now working. Iraq’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has partnered with UNICEF to create a psychological support program for street children. “Already, 150 children have retuned to their families,” said Claire Hajaj, UNICEF’s communications officer at the organizations’ Iraq Support Centre in Amman. “But this is a small project which needs much more funding.”

Unfortunately, child assistance programs have received threats from gangs and militias that profit from the use of illicit child labor.

For the full article, click here.



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