Child labour one of the notable problems in oil-rich country, Iran

Child labour one of the notable problems in oil-rich country, Iran

Published by on June 17, 2019

“The children who come to Tehran from other cities with no identification papers are held in quarantine facilities, where they are detained for a maximum of 23 days until their identities are verified. Unfortunately, many children remain in such quarantine facilities for months and years, without establishing their identities.” Fatemeh Qassemzadeh, head of the Network Aiding Child Labourers, in World Day Against Child Labour seminar, held in Tehran on June 12, this year, revealed.

This was part of a report published on this meeting by the state-run ILNA news agency on June 15, 2019.

Child labour is a serious issue in Iran where the number of child labourers is estimated to be between 3 to 7 million, with some 60,000 children added every year.

Another state-run paper, Ebtekar, wrote that many child labourers are engaged in scavenging through garbage and in doing so they are exposed to dangerous illnesses, dated 13 June.

Tehran’s municipality has relegated the collection of the city’s garbage to private companies which in turn recruit child labourers to do the job for them.

Citing a researcher, Ebtekar wrote, “A large number of Iranian children and their families in Tehran are entering the cycle of collection of garbage. This is because of lack of occupation and the availability of garbage.”

Ebtekar wrote some 14,000 persons work to collect the city’s garbage, 4,700 of whom are child laborers.

On 26 May, another state-run publication, Jiroft-e Man, wrote, “Prices are skyrocketing. High prices have reached a climax, and people become hungrier every day.” In such circumstances, it is all but natural that families have their kids leave school and in the next step go to work to help earn the family’s living.

Also, on 4 June, Tabnak website wrote, “To make ends meet has become the main concern of many families these days. Wage earners, who could provide a whole month with their salaries, can now pay for only 10 days.”

On the other hand, on 18 March, this year, ROKNA news agency reported on the deaths of a sister and brother, 9 and 11 years old, in a poor neighbourhood in South Tehran, in the farmlands near Shahr-e Rey.

The siblings were child labourers. Sadouri peddled on the streets and her brother, Rashid, worked on the farmland to provide for their mother and their other siblings.

Some 200 families live in this neighbourhood where the houses are made of mud and wood, and not resistant against rain and snow. Sadouri and her brother, Rashid, lived in one such house.

On the night of 17 March, heavy rains caused the ceiling of their house collapse on their head. Their mother and siblings ran out, but Sadouri and Rashid remained under the debris.

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