Conference on Child Labor in Dohuk

A conference against child labor began in Dohuk on Sunday.

According to the report from Aknews, the event is hosted by an organization called Nubahar, an NGO that fights child labor.

“The findings of the conference will be sent to related committees in the Kurdish parliament and to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs”, said Ismat Bandi from Nubahar.

The organisation said there are currently 15,000 children working in Kurdistan.

Two weeks ago, the Iraqi Labor Ministry claimed that the number of children working in Iraq has fallen to 6 per cent.

A UNICEF report showed 12.4 per cent of those under 15 working in 2009.

The war in 2003 contributed to an increase in the number of children engaged in work, according to UNICEF. A 2006 study showed that only 50 percent of the children surveyed reported that both their parents were still alive.

UNICEF’s 2009 report said:

“In Iraq, children are exploited in the worst forms of child labor ... There are reports of children working in dangerous conditions in family-owned automobile shops and on construction sites.

“These include slavery and similar practices, including forced labor, child trafficking, compulsory recruitment of minors for use in armed conflict, child prostitution and child pornography, and illicit activities such as drug trafficking.”

Referring to the government’s measures to combat the illegal practice it said: “Iraq does not have a coordinating mechanism to combat the worst forms of child labor ... Information was not identified on the number of inspectors or inspections completed during the reporting period.”

(Source: AKnews)

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