ILO and partners launch national campaign to tackle worst forms of child labor in Iraq [EN/AR] – Iraq
Baghdad, Iraq (ILO News) The International Organization of Labor in Iraq and its partners have launched a national campaign to combat the worst forms of child labor in the country. The campaign will target 10,000 children, their families and guardians, teachers, employers and the media through a series of activities that aim to raise awareness about the growing dangers of child labor, to mobilize efforts to reach the hearts of local communities. most affected by the ramp-up. child labor in the country; and encourage activities to amplify the voices of those affected by the problem.
During a virtual meeting attended by senior representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Iraq, including the Iraqi Kurdistan region, as well as representatives of local implementing partners of the ILO Al -Tahreer Association for Development and Kurdistan Save the Children, partners discussed joint efforts in the implementation of the campaign and its activities.
“The year 2021 has been declared the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor , and our campaign in Iraq is part of this global effort to fight child labor, ”said Dr Maha Kattaa, ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq. “We hope that thanks to your support, your recommendations and your collaboration, this campaign will have a significant and lasting impact on the ground. We want to speak with one voice against the dangers of child labor and seek broader partnerships, such as the private sector, to address these issues.
Child labor has increased in Iraq in recent years due to a combination of factors such as armed conflict, displacement and economic challenges, which have been further exacerbated by COVID-19, forcing an increasing number of children to enter the labor market.
This campaign aims to inform communities about the negative consequences of child labor and ultimately to change the behavior of society and institutions. While it may not effectively eliminate these factors, it aims to make child labor unacceptable and make it an urgent priority for the authorities responsible to tackle and for businesses to reject.
“Our ministry is leading a campaign through its inspection unit to combat the worst forms of child labor and we hope that these and other efforts will complement the activities of the campaign led by the ILO,” said Mr. Raed Jabbar Bahedh Director. General of the Department of Labor and Vocational Training of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
“We are ready to coordinate, support and participate in the awareness campaign,” said Dr Arif Hito, director general of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Erbil, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. “Such a campaign must take into account social awareness and ensure that there are alternative solutions for families and children.”
The campaign will be guided by existing ILO tools to combat child labor, such as SCREAM , which is an education and social mobilization initiative, to help educators around the world promote understanding and awareness of child labor among young people, and the inter-agency toolkit guide humanitarian actors and other agencies in the global community to prevent and respond effectively to child labor in humanitarian action. These tools will be translated and adapted to the Iraqi context and used in a variety of activities, including social media campaigns and community outreach.
The campaign will also support ongoing efforts to connect children and their families with existing support mechanisms. This will complete activities of the ILO and its partners fight against child labor. With the support of European Regional Development and Protection Program for Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (RDPP II) – joint European initiative of the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union, Ireland and Switzerland, the ILO is implementing a project that tackles the worst forms of child labor among refugees Syrians, internally displaced persons and vulnerable members of host communities in Iraq.
Iraq has ratified the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No.138) and the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No.182), which are central the fight against child labor. In December 2019, the ILO signed and launched a new Decent Work Country Program (DWCP) in Iraq in partnership with the government and social partners for the period 2019-2023. As part of this program, the ILO works with the government, workers ‘and employers’ organizations to support national initiatives on employment promotion, rights at work, social dialogue and social protection, including including the development of an effective framework to combat child labor.