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A look at child labor in Iran

Children gathering trash in Iran in order to sell and make ends meet
Children gathering trash in Iran in order to sell and make ends meet

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, September 26, 2019—The new school year in Iran began on September 23. At this time of the year across the globe, scenes of children rushing to schools, smiling and laughing, bring joy not only to their parents, but also to those wishing to provide the very best for their country’s future generation.

In Iran under the mullahs’ regime, however, the right to education, considered one of the main fundamental rights of children throughout the world by UNICEF, is becoming an unattainable dream.

Based on numbers published by state-run media in Iran, the number of children involved child labor is increasing and those actually in schools are unfortunately decreasing with each passing year. More children are joining the “army” of child labor, selling goods and roaming the streets of large cities checkered across Iran.

Despite the fact that regime officials go the distance in publishing doctored reports to place the blame of this social catastrophe on any source but the regime, the footprints of this phenomenon can be traced back to its actual cause through remarks made by authorities.

The main reason lies in the unprecedented and ever-increasing poverty that is spreading across Iran like a plague resulting from the regime’s unpopular policies that are plundering the Iranian people. Millions of families are in such dire conditions that they literally cannot even adequately feed their children, let alone provide for the fees of sending their children to school.

As a result, Iran’s younger generation, the future of this country, have no choice but to roam the streets and work in dangerous workshops in a desperate attempt to help their families make ends meet.

“Currently, there are 3.5 million children out of school across the country,” said Hafizollah Fazeli, a regime insider, to the Tasnim news agency, affiliated to the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force.

The state-run Hamdeli newspaper acknowledged the fact that economic poverty is one of the main reasons of families not being able to send their children to school.

“The economic poverty engulfing families is creating a major obstacle in advancing education. One of the most important results is children forced into labor outside of their houses, preventing them from going to school,” the September 22 piece reads in part.

While carefully avoiding any mention of the role of regime officials on this matter, the Hamdeli article sheds light on the fact that the cost of public education is becoming a heavy burden for Iranian families.

“Education is becoming more of a purchased good these days than a service and this is the most important reason why children drop out of schools and enter the labor force… Education is now considered a purchased good and is provided only if a family has the ability to purchase it… As a result, only those affording the costs will be able to have access to education,” the read adds.

All the while, the main concern of this and other state-run outlets lies not in the fact that Iran’s children are deprived of education. In fact, they consider this phenomenon a “time bomb” threatening the regime’s security. Regime officials are concerned about poverty evolving into a source of dissent and social unrest.

“The truth is that children who drop out of schools have the potential of acting as a time bomb that can explode any day and any moment. Such an explosion that can not only destroy themselves, but also inflict damage to others and the society,” the Hamdeli piece concludes, reflecting the dire concerns of the ruling regime in Iran.

Furthermore, incompetent officials in the regime’s Education Ministry and associated department in provinces and cities across the country on one hand, and allocating a very dismal budget for one of the most important ministries on the other are adding to this crisis and resulting in more children dropping out of schools.

When the Education Ministry refuses to provide paychecks to hardworking Iranian teachers and has neglected the issue of a shortage in classrooms for 40 years now, it is quite obvious that the mullahs’ regime is neither able nor willing to prevent the catastrophe of young children dropping out of schools.

All the while, daily reports are published in Iranian media of regime officials running off stealing millions, and at times billions of dollars, while tens of millions of people are barely providing a single meal for their families.

There is no doubt that with each passing day public hatred of the mullahs’ regime is escalating as we speak. All dilemmas in Iran under the mullahs’ regime can only be resolved by targeting the root of these crises, being the very regime ruling this country for over four decades now.

Daily protests and demonstrations, and repeating anti-regime protests, are a signal of how the Iranian people have realized this undeniable reality and are joining the organized resistance bent on bringing an end to the mullahs’ corrupt rule.