Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Number of child workers growing as food prices rise in Egypt

As the price of basic food staples in Egypt continues to soar, more and more children are leaving school to work in order to support their families, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

In a country where over 20 percent of the population already lives below the poverty line, inflation and rising world food prices have put severe strain on families’ ability to afford even the most basic of foods and supplies.

14-year-old Ali Abdel-Nasser has worked at a brick factory outside Cairo almost every day for the past four years. Ali, who loads a donkey cart with bricks at the factory, would like to take a break, but his family simply cannot afford it.

“The owners of the factory give the animals two days off,” Ali said. “But I cannot afford to rest. If I did, nobody is going to bring bread for my family.”

The Egyptian government has no data on how many children work at factories or other jobs, but there are believed to be 1.5 million street children between the ages of 6 and 17 in the country.

For the full article, click here.


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