ICBPS- Iran’s child labor phenomenon has become one of the biggest social problems in the last four decades. Children in Iran either work or study.
Today in Iran, children are driven into work for various reasons such as poverty, most often, child labor occurs when families face financial challenges or uncertainty under the Ayatollahs’ reign.
Nearly 1 in 10 children are subjected to child labor worldwide (around 152 million). Based on reports, up to 11.4 percent of Iranian children are doing some kind of illegal work in brick production or beg on the streets.
Without exception, all Iranian child laborers have been abused in some way – sexually or verbally.
Recently, a shocking video has gone viral on social media that shows two poor child laborers have been asked to dance and expose their genitals – probably for some money.
The poor children were urged to expose genitals that can have psychological and emotional effects on the victims.
Iranian Cyber Police (FATA) has allegedly arrested the perpetrator.
Reports from inside the country indicate children as young as three who were coerced to work have been undergone physical and sexual abuse from the employers, hooligans, or traffickers, as well as sometimes being forced into drug addiction.
The number of child laborers in Iran is between three to seven million, state-run Tasnim News reported in 2017. The figures have certainly multiplied during these three years.
Homelessness and poverty in Iran made children especially vulnerable to drug trafficking and forced sex working.
‘The global number of child laborers down by a third.’
The world’s child labor rate, however, has dropped by 40 percent among girls, compared to 25 percent for boys in the past two decades. Still, Iran is one of the countries where poverty imposed by 41 years of the Khomeinist regime’s corruption and mismanagement means that families are forced to send children out to work, some even sell their children.
Further, in its late Oct. report, ICBPS revealed over 3.5 million Iranian students either live in areas that do not have Internet or do not own tablets and smartphones.
In dozens of areas that lack Internet access, Iranian students are forced to drop out of school in the wake of school closures triggered by the Chinese Coronavirus COVID19 pandemic.
In mid-October, an 11-year-old Iranian schoolboy, Mohammad Mousavizadeh, committed suicide by hanging from the kitchen because he did not own a smartphone.
Another 13-year-old schoolgirl from an impoverished family has committed suicide because she did not own a smartphone, preventing her from taking part in online classes.
The share of education in government expenditure is 4.6 percent of GDP globally, but the Islamic authorities in Iran allocate just two percent for the education system.
Israel spends the equivalent of 6 percent of its GDP on education as some countries spend up to 10-12 percent.
“The precondition to social justice is educational justice,” says chairman of the Islamic Consultative Assembly’s education commission.
According to the 2019-2020 budget draft that so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani submitted to the Islamic Consultative Assembly in late December, about $43 billion authorized the Khomeinist regime’s overall defense outlays, leaving it at seven percent of the state budget.
Further, in January, Mullah the Great Ali Khamenei authorized the allocation of €200 million of additional budget to the FTO-IRGC Quds Force to counter the U.S. and its allies throughout the globe.
After four decades of misrule under the Islamic regime, Iranian education system is now one of the most primitive and backward in the world.
In several Iranian provinces, there are no modern schools. These Iranian students are unable to learn in the technology-equipped classrooms that are so necessary for today’s information society. Instead, many students across the country, particularly in remote areas, attend classes in tents, or muds.
There are thousands of tent and mud-hut schools all across Iran, according to ICBHR.
Now, however, with the coronavirus ravaging the nations, Iran’s education system has been brought to a point of near-collapse. According to the most optimistic situation, 90% of schools in Iran 31 provinces are experiencing crisis.
Thousands upon thousands of classrooms don’t have standard heating or air conditioning systems, and the tent and mud-hut schools, of course, don’t even have electricity.
As with many other countries, Iran’s schools have had to close in order to contain the spread of COVID19, and students are told to take their classes remotely, online. Yet, millions of Iranian students are unable to access their online courses.
Most Iranian public schools are unable to run a remote learning network, and the regime’s Ministry of Education is also unable to help with setting up online classes, due to Iran’s substandard Internet infrastructure, along with a shortage of ministry staff who are qualified to administer such a program. Even worse, millions of Iranians don’t have high-speed Internet in their homes, and are unable to travel to an Internet café on account of the pandemic-induced lockdown.
In the 1980s, Iranian children were pulled out of schools by the regime to go fight in the Iran-Iraq war.
Those who survived, often with crippling injuries, were dubbed Iran’s Lost Generation.
Now, Iran is at risk of creating another Lost Generation, of millions deprived of their right to knowledge and important training for life as a result of the regime’s monumental mishandling of COVID19.
The Institute of Capacity Building for Political Studies (ICBPS) is a non-governmental research institute focusing on political studies, international security, and international relations.