Child labor in Iran

Iran is currently one of the youngest countries in the world.  Seventy percent of the current population of 80,957,894 are under 35.

Despite having rich oil and gas fields, culture, and civilization, the youth and especially children in Iran are still deprived of basic human rights.

Today in Iran, the common belief is that child labor is "normal."  Parents regard their children as additional sources of income.  Some families attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.

At a very early age, children often separate from their families to earn a few cents per hour and are consequently exposed to serious hazards and illnesses.  You may find them on the streets of large cities like Tehran, Esfahan, and Tabriz in large numbers.  They simply do not have enough time to go to school and improve their future prospects.

Recently, Iranian media published reports on seven million child laborers, as well as a significant number of children abused in the drug trade.

The state-run ISNA news agency quoted three officials of the Iranian regime on June 2, 2017.

Sarah Rezaie, a member of the so-called Imam Ali population, reduced the dimension of this social problem by claiming that there are two million working children in Iran, but unofficial statistics show the number of child laborers at seven million.

She announced that these children are between 10 and 15 years old and added: "There are some pieces of evidence that show even 5-years-old children and babies are also caught in forced labor."

She described the situation of children working in some of the metropolitan areas of Iran as "disastrous ... and this has become a kind of norm."

Rezaei pointed to the existence of shops where adolescents, often addicted themselves, sell addictive substances such as nas, pan, glass, and crack, adding that "these children are used in other cities of Sistan and Baluchestan province."

These children swallow these drugs, and after they crossed the border, they expel them.  Many have died in the process.

Sousan Maziarfar speaks of the children who search in garbage dumps for food and said the average age of these children is 12 years.  "Forty-one percent of these children are illiterate and 37% of them have dropped out of the school in order to work," she added.

Maziarfar revealed that many of these children face not only disease, but also having their faces, fingers, and toes chewed and wounded by rats.

Soraya Azizpanah, a member of the association for the protection of the rights of the children, also quoted the Iranian regime parliament's research center, which, according to ISNA, indicates that 3.2 million children have dropped out of school to work.

In Iran, child victims of exploitation have the right to protection from all forms of ill treatment, abuse, neglect, and violence.  Every child has the right to live, learn, and play, to be happy, safe, and free.  But under the tyrannical rule of the mullahs, children in Iran are deprived of basic human rights.  By spending its treasure and time on foreign adventures in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, the Iranian regime paved the way for the sale and trafficking of children and forced or compulsory labor, including use in war.  In the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, Iran used child soldiers extensively, with estimates of up to 100,000 killed.  They sent the children into battle with a plastic "key to paradise" around their necks, issued personally by the ayatollah.  That's childhood in the theocracy of the mullahs. 

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate, specializing in political and economic issues relating to Iran and the Middle East.  @hassan_mahmou1