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4.9% of Iraqi population are child labourers

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Some 4.9 per cent of the Iraqi population are working children, the Iraqi Planning and Development Cooperation Ministry revealed on Sunday.

At the beginning of this month, Iraq's federal government announced the results of its latest census, noting that the country's population was 37 million.

"Working children aged between 5 and 17 years forms 4.9 per cent, including 7.1 males and 2.5 females," a statement reported by Anadolu Agency said.

Since the American invasion of the country in 2003, child labour has been increasing steadily. It hiked from 4 per cent to 8 per cent in 2009 but dropped in subsequent years.

For several years, child protection organisations have reported a widespread increase in child labour and called for the federal government to address this problem.

Read: Organized begging networks in Baghdad, the children are victims

According to Anadolu, thousands of children leave their schools and enter the labour market to help their families.

Children are involved in dangerous professions, local NGOs said, especially professions related to repairing vehicles where most businesses lack adequate safety measures.

At the beginning of 2017, Iraq's parliamentary economic committee announced that the rate of unemployment had reached 32 per cent in 2016.

IraqMiddle EastNews
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