Child labor and exploitation remains a widespread problem throughout much of the world. The issue is centered around exploitation, trafficking and governmental negligence and presents a challenge for those living in closed societies which lack transparency, and social support systems.
The exploitation of children has become increasingly prevalent in Iran, and remains uninvestigated by authorities and the outside world.
The current geopolitical realities in the Middle East and the wave of refugees, combined with widespread failure in governance, have created the perfect storm for a rise in the exploitation of children. Iran’s location within a corridor of war-torn countries, coupled with state corruption and lack of a social safety net have exacerbated the issue. Iran has consistently been listed as a Tier 3 country for human trafficking by the US State Department. The Iranian regime itself has also been implicated in human trafficking and the exploitation of children.
Unenforced Law Puts Thousands at Risk of Injury, Death
The Afghan government is failing to protect tens of thousands of children, some as young as 5, from hazardous conditions in the workplace, in violation of Afghanistan’s labor laws.
The 31-page report, “‘They Bear All the Pain’: Hazardous Child Labor in Afghanistan,” documents how child workers work dangerous jobs in Afghanistan’s carpet industry; as bonded labor in brick kilns; and as metal workers. They perform tasks that could result in illness, injury, or even death due to hazardous working conditions and poor enforcement of safety and health standards. Many children who work under those conditions combine the burdens of a job with school, or forego education altogether. Working compels many children in Afghanistan to leave school prematurely. Only half of children involved in child labor attend school.
Exposed to Harmful Nicotine, Pesticides
Thousands of children in Indonesia, some just 8 years old, are working in hazardous conditions on tobacco farms, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Indonesian and multinational tobacco companies buy tobacco grown in Indonesia, but none do enough to ensure that children are not doing hazardous work on farms in their supply chains.
The 119-page report, “‘The Harvest is in My Blood’: Hazardous Child Labor in Tobacco Farming in Indonesia,” documents how child tobacco workers are exposed to nicotine, handle toxic chemicals, use sharp tools, lift heavy loads, and work in extreme heat. The work could have lasting consequences for their health and development. Companies should ban suppliers from using children for work that involves direct contact with tobacco, and the Indonesian government should regulate the industry to hold them accountable.“Tobacco companies are making money off the backs and the health of Indonesian child workers,” said Margaret Wurth, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report. “Tobacco companies shouldn’t contribute to the use of hazardous child labor through their supply chains.”