By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Child labour is illegal in Iraq. But if there is death or disease in the family, minors are often forced to work. The authorities responsible for policing labour laws take a range of different attitudes to that.

Just a few days after the beginning of the new school term in Baghdad and Mohammed Ali dropped out. He is 12. His father was killed in a bombing in the city a few months ago and now as the eldest of three sons he feels adult responsibility weighing heavily upon him.

“I just had to search for a job, any job, in order to bring food to my brothers and to my mother who is taking care of them,” says Ali, who NIQASH met on the street. “I will never let her go out to search for a job as long as I am there for her.”

Ali is sweating and he wears ragged clothing. He works as a porter and carries building materials, rocks and other heavy items around the city. He leaves home at sunrise and returns at sunset, eats just one meal a day that costs him about IQD1,000 (US$0.83) and gives the rest of his daily wages, IQD15,000 (around US$12) to his mother for housekeeping. He makes sure that his younger brothers are doing all right and he sleeps next to them in the same bed before getting up the next day to go out and do the same all over again.

Ali is just one of many underage labourers in Iraq. The number of child workers has increased significantly since 2003. Last year the United Nations children’s’ agency, UNICEF, said that more than half a million Iraqi children are thought to be working rather than at school. A lot of those cases are due to violence or displacement, as in Ali’s situation. Iraq’s own Ministry of Planning has higher numbers, saying that about one in five children, aged mostly between five and 14, work to support their families and themselves.

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

On Global Open Day on UNSCR 1325, calls for men to champion and support women’s participation in politics and in decision-making

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), jointly with UNWOMEN and in coordination with the Implementation and Follow Up National Reconciliation Committee (IFNRC) of the Office of Iraq’s Prime Minister, held a consultative forum with women leaders and members of the Basra, Muthanna, Thi Qar and Missan Provincial Councils in Basra on 01 November 2017 with the focus on strengthening women’s political participation.

This is the fourth such meeting within the context of observing the Global Open Day and the 17th Anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325.

As in the previous consultative meetings that were held in Karbala, Baghdad and Erbil in October, the participants in Basra echoed the similar concerns by women leaders across the country. They noted the retrogression of women’s participation in Iraq’s politics. They urged UNAMI and UNWOMEN to engage male champions to support women’s participation and to also press the heads of political blocs and political leaders to act in support of women issues.

In her intervention, Ms. Yusra Naji, Member of Missan Provincial Council, decried male political leaders for marginalizing women. “The Iraqi society is male dominated, women are not invited to negotiations, they have no political rights, they are not represented in the Presidency, the Council of Representatives presidency, there are only two women Ministers, yet there is no legislation preventing women from occupying these high level positions,” Ms. Naji said.

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)