A virtual event with key national and international partners took place, shedding lights on some of the root causes and consequences of child labour in Iraq and efforts to address them.
ILO News – The ILO, together with national and international partners marked World Day Against Child Labour in Iraq with a virtual event highlighting the plight of working children and efforts to tackle the worst forms of child labour in the country. The event took place on Thursday (June 10), ahead of World Day Against Child Labour which is observed annually on June 12.
Organised by the ILO, the event was attended by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Kurdish Regional Government, Ms. Kwestan Mohammed and key officials from the government, including the Deputy Director General of the Department of Labour and Vocational Training at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Federal Government of Iraq, Mr. Abbas Fadel. It also brought together representatives from Save the Children International, UNHCR, UNICEF, the child protection sub-cluster, as well as Al-Tahreer Association for Development and Kurdistan Save the Children, ILO’s local implementing partners.
“Your work in this field is very valuable. Through our work at the ministry, and with your engagement we continue to tackle the issue of child labour in efforts to promote and protect children’s rights. However, we must also continue working with the children’s families to ensure they have access to economic and livelihoods opportunities,” said the Minister.
“Child labour in Iraq has been on the increase due to armed conflict, displacement and economic challenges, which have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. On World Day Against Child Labour, we call on our partners to put the issue of child labour at the core of their programmes as it requires drastic efforts that address the root causes of the problem,” said Mr. Fadel.
Iraq has ratified the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) and the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), which are central to the fight against child labour.
The event took place as global activities to mark this year’s world day kicked off, focusing on action taken for the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.
“The issue of child labour is complex and has hazardous consequence on children’s safety, wellbeing and education. At the ILO, we will continue to work with partners on finding solutions to remove children from the worst forms of child labour and provide them with access to the services and support which they need,” said Dr. Maha Kattaa, ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq.
With support from the European Regional Development Protection Programme (RDPP II) – a joint European initiative by the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union, Ireland and Switzerland, the ILO in Iraq is implementing a programme which tackles the worst forms of child labour amongst Syrian refugees, internally displaced persons and vulnerable host community members. This includes piloting a Child Labour Monitoring System, increasing access to quality education for children, providing skills training and income-generating activities to older siblings and caretakers of vulnerable children, and supporting the development of a National Action Plan against child labour.
International Labour Organization (ILO)