Iranian children’s rights activist Ali Akbar Esmailpour has spoken out against the lack of close supervision of child labour in Iran.
Esmailpour told ILNA on Tuesday that the Iranian government fails to accurately report on just how many child workers are used in workshops in Iran.
He said: “The only information at hand is the statistics regarding street children, because they are very visible, but this does not give the complete picture.”
The head of the Association for the Protection of Children’s Rights said the Ministry of Labour is responsible for regularly inspecting workshops and following up on the situation of child workers, adding that “children sometimes work between 12 to 16 hours under very bad conditions without the slightest safety or hygienic considerations.”
Esmailpour explained that the sixth parliament passed a law that exempted workshops with fewer than 10 employees from following labour laws. He emphasized: “This is why the ministry does not stand accountable for the child workers in such workshops.”
Tehran city officials reported in September that the number of child workers rounded up across the city has increased by 15 percent, and the number is continually on the rise.
The head of the Social Welfare Commission of Parliament told Fars News in September that children are not legally allowed to work and they must be given the protection of welfare organizations.