One, two, three, work and pain is over, let us all go to school!

The 84th gathering of the International Labour Organisation announced that in Iran one million eight hundred thousands children work! While the authority of Iran’s Islamic Republic Regime have claimed time and time again that: It is impossible to review and inspect this issue, as we lack the necessary manpower to do so! According to reports by UNICEF published early last year: in Iran 9.2 per cent of children are engaged n the labour process and do not go to school. These children are between 6 and 14 years old!
The deplorable condition of Iranian children is a many fold story which has broken the heart of supporters and activists of children’s rights. Given the background of mass unemployment and sacking of workers in Iran, at a time when workers are paid such meagre wages making it impossible to survive, in the absence of any right to organisation or strike or protest, lack of any social security, job security... the increase in the number of children who work has created truly hell on earth for these children and their families.
Of course child labour exists throughout the world and absence of children’s rights has unfortunately worldwide dimensions. However what makes Iran’s child labourers the most forgotten child victims of the world is that their situation is even worse than other children in the world. Legal and civil legislation clearly legitimizes abuse of children and makes their lives hazardous and painful:
-the legal age of marriage for girls is 9 years old according to article 1210 of the civil law passed in 1981.
-Article 622 of the civil law legitimizes physical punishment of children
-The section on Islamic punishment in Iran stipulates that should a man beat up his wife to the extent that she looses an unborn child he could face the law for ‘ghassass’ retribution however should that child survive and the father strangles him/her , the court would punish the father with 10 days suspended jail sentence and payment of a fine.
-Article 1179 of the civil law clarifies that parents have the legal right to punish their children. However the legislation clarifies they should not punish the children beyond limits! (These limits are clarified as a level of beating up that leads to the child’s death.)
-Children are not allowed to work below the age of 15, however although article 79 of the labour legislation clarifies this issue, the number of children below 15 who join the work force rises every day. The same law has a note regarding jobs harmful to children under 18 years old and a further legal note number 188 specifying that children employed by the state sector and children working in private workshops are exempt from this law. At the same time parents are allowed to enter into an agreement with the employer transferring all authority regarding the child to the employer or they can rent out heir children to owners of private workshops.
There are many other many laws legitimizing child abuse in the Islamic Republic in Iran states. Children in Iran live truly in hell: they are beaten up, they suffer sexual abuse, at school they are forced to learn religious superstition, they are employed at very low wage sin carpet weaving, mechanics or other workshops so that they can provide some help to eth family income, they are deprived of education and training… Many young girls (some children) run away from home to escape these unberable conditions and end up sleeping rough in the streets only to start another chapter in their miserable lives facing humiliation, rape, slavery and violence.
Children in Iran have no right that is why the Association for the Abolition of child Labour in Iran and the Centre for Children’s literature, Darvag, has started the campaign:
One, two, three, work and pain is over, let us all go to school! In support of these contemporary Spartacus’s, as part of an effort for the abolition of all legislation allowing child abuse, as a first step toward the abolition of child Labour in Iran.
We will take the first step towards this on the 1st of May 2006. On the following dates 12th June , the International day for the abolition of child labour, 18th Sept the day of the international march against child Labour and the 20th of November the day of the ratification of the Convention in defence of children’s’ rights, we will propose various activities. (Details will be publicized later). We invite all of you, friends and protectors of children’s rights to cooperate with us. Participate in this humanitarian campaign, take part in the activities and organise various protests, gatherings to strengthen this camping.
In the camping : One , two, three, work and pain is over, let us all go to school!
Wee will try to achieve the following:
a-The abolition of article 1201 of the civil law which allows 9 years old girls to be married, abolition of article 622 legitimizing punishment of children according to religious dictate , note 188 of the Labour legislation regarding Child labour and all Islamic and civil legislations harming children’s rights and their well being , replacing them with laws favouring children’s rights.
b-Child labour must be abolished and free , high quality compulsory education must replace it.
c-In order to abolish child labour adults must be paid a decent wage, must have job security , the right organise and to strike and benefit from social security and unemployment benefit..
d-All education programs dealing with religious superstition , propaganda of violence must be replaced by modern, secular and humane education in line with International standards e-All those campaigning for children rights must have social, political and physical protection.


The Association for the Abolition of Child Labour
And the Centre for Children’s Literature, Darvag

Suzan Bahar
1 Feb 2006