On this World Day Against Child Labor, the ILO and UNICEF call for all stakeholders to work together to create a protective and inclusive environment for children in Iraq – Low Calorie Diets Tips

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Baghdad, June 12, 2022. On this World Day Against Child Labor with the slogan “Universal social protection to end child labour”, ILO and UNICEF call on stakeholders to work together to create a protective and inclusive environment for children in Iraq. Children make up the majority of the 4.5 million Iraqis at risk of poverty due to conflict and COVID-19, with one in two children (48.8%) at high risk of multiple deprivations in education, health, living conditions and finances Security. The disruption of services and the imposition of negative coping mechanisms by poor households will increase disadvantage and inequality. This will have a particular impact on the most vulnerable children – those affected by conflict and displacement, including in host communities.

Child labor has increased in Iraq in recent years due to armed conflict, displacement, socio-economic challenges and the pandemic; Children were shifted to distance learning, increasing the risk of dropping out of school and entering the workforce. Extending social protection and promoting equal access to quality social services with a focus on education, health and child protection are key policy directions to respond to the root causes of child labour.

The Fifth Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labor, held in Durban last month, concluded with a call for urgent action, declaring that “the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflict and food, humanitarian and environmental crises years to reverse progress against child labour”.

Child labour, particularly in its worst forms, deprives children of their childhood and their education. It increases their risk of serious danger, disease and exploitation.

On World Day Against Child Labor, the ILO and UNICEF reaffirm their partnership with the Iraqi government to respond effectively and accelerate reforms to protect vulnerable children and their families from the worst forms of child labor and to promote children’s well-being.

Iraq is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It has also ratified the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) and the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182), which are crucial in the fight against child labour.

In addition, Iraq’s recent participation in the Durban Conference was encouraging and demonstrated a strong national interest in tackling the worst forms of child labour.

Key to combating child labor has been the development of an ILO-supported Child Labor Monitoring System (CLMS), funded by the European Regional Development and Protection Program for Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (RDPP II) and implemented with the Iraqi government. The monitoring system identifies vulnerable children affected by or at risk of child labor and provides them with the necessary support and services. It focuses on access to education and mental health services, and provides opportunities for children’s parents and carers that can improve their employability and livelihoods. In addition, ILO and UNICEF offer age-appropriate training programs for 3,781 young people (10-24 years), including employability and targeted training of young people in labor law and human rights standards in the workplace.

Following the successful piloting of the system in Ninewa and Duhok, the ILO and UNICEF are jointly supporting the government with capacity building and technical assistance to roll out and implement the system across the country, particularly in areas where child labor is most prevalent.

In addition, the ILO-RDPP II partnership has helped set up and revitalize centers in Mosul, the capital of Ninewa, and in Dohuk to provide children with tools to catch up on their education and return to school. These centers provide a safe place for children who have been withdrawn from child labor to participate in age-appropriate activities that can help them return to formal education.

Since 2021, the ILO, UNICEF and the World Food Program (WFP), with the support of the European Union and in partnership with the Iraqi government, have been implementing a social protection reform program to improve the quality and reach of government-funded social protection programs for the poorest and most vulnerable children and Familys. It also reduces the risk of household economic hardship and children dropping out of school and child labour.

On this occasion, it is important to recognize the need for a cross-sectoral response, with a focus on extending social protection, including social security, to the most vulnerable families and increasing investment in services such as education, health and child protection. This is to ensure that all children in Iraq have equal opportunities to learn, develop and live in a safe and friendly environment. This is vital to enable children to develop skills and imagination and prepare them to deal with the new challenges of the world in their current transitional periods.

For more information, please contact:

Miguel Mateos Munoz

Head of Communications and Advocacy

UNICEF Iraq

Email: mmateosmunoz@unicef.org

Nisreen Bathisch

communications consultant

International Labor Organization (ILO)

Email: bathish@iloguest.org

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