Qamishli, Syria− Child labour in northeastern Syria has increased due to the poor living conditions. Children aged 7-15 work in various shops and workshops, selling vegetables, fruits, or tobacco. Some even shine shoes or carry goods to earn living in order to help their financially-stricken families.
Ahmed,11, and Khalid, 9, are two brothers whose family was displaced from Aleppo due to the ongoing war which hit the city. The family consists of 15 members and live at the moment in the university accommodation in Hasaka city, northeast Syria.
“My father works in selling vegetable, while my grandmother is sick and my siblings are little, so I work with my brother Khalid in selling various things like cleaning and tidying appliances and food. And when we pass by people in their homes, we sometimes get kicked out of the houses and we also get robbed and beaten by other kids,” Ahmad told ARA News.
Jiwan, 14, has 6 siblings and his father is unemployed, while his mother works in cleaning houses.
“I perform along with two of my brothers different kinds of jobs; we shine shoes, wash cars and sell cigarettes,” said Jiwan. “We have never been to school, as our father put us into work at age of 7. We work from 7 o’clock in the morning and at the end of the day we give our father the money we earned, and he spends it on smoking and drinking alcohol.”
M.D. Saied Kerro, specialist in children’s diseases, stated ARA News: “Children who work at an early age are susceptible to mental and physical illnesses, as they may get general body weakness, nervous tensions, hearing diseases, poor vision, short stature and other physical and psychiatric disabilities.”
Hanan al-Amawi, an employee in a center for social services in the city of Qamishli, told ARA News that most of the children who work at an early age are exposed to harassment in their workplaces and they may even get molested.
According to al-Amawi, intermingling with work life and adults “may result in learning bad habits and behaviours like smoking, drinking alcohol, using sedatives”.
“Those children might even enter in illicit sexual practices and learn obscene habits and behaviours, especially if they work with people who carry out illegal works,” al-Amawi said, adding: “It is necessary that the concerned authorities conduct statistics regarding child labour and the state has to financially support the poor families so that they do not put their children into work.”
Reporting by: Ivana Abdulhalim
Source: ARA News
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