The International Labour Organization in Iraq and partners launched a nation-wide campaign to tackle the worst forms of child labour in the country. The campaign will target 10,000 children, their families and guardians, teachers, employers, and the media through a series of activities which aim to raise awareness on the increasing dangers of child labour, mobilise efforts to reach the heart of communities most effected by the rise of child labour in the country; and encourage activities to amplify the voices of those effected by the problem.
During a virtual meeting, which was attended by senior representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Iraq as well as representatives of ILO’s local implementing partners Al-Tahreer Association for Development and partners discussed joint efforts in the implementations of the campaign and its activities.
“The year 2021 has been declared as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour , and our campaign in Iraq is part of these global efforts to combat child labour,” said Dr. Maha Kattaa, ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq. “We hope through your support, recommendations and collaboration, this campaign will have a significant and lasting impact on the ground. We want to speak as one voice against the dangers of child labour and seek wider partnerships, such as that of the private sector, to address these issues.”
Child labour has been on the raise in Iraq in recent years due to a combination of factors including armed conflict, displacement and economic challenges, which have been further compounded by COVID-19, forcing a growing number of children into the workforce.
This campaign aims to inform communities about the negative consequences of child labour and ultimately change behaviour of society and institutions alike. While it may not be effectively removing these factors, it aims to make child labour unacceptable and make it an urgent priority for responsible authorities to tackle and for businesses to reject.