ILO and local partners in Mosul discuss collaboration in the fight against child labour in the Ninewa Governorate

Activities are being implemented by the ILO and partners to address the worst forms of child labour among forcibly displaced persons and vulnerable host community members. 

Article | 19 February 2021
Baghdad, Iraq (ILO News) The ILO held its first meeting with local partners in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, to discuss collaboration in tackling the worst forms of child labour in the Ninewa Governorate, a region which has experienced years of conflict and is home to a large number of displaced and returnee families and their children.

The collaboration is part of wider efforts under an ILO-RDPP project aimed at tackling the worst forms of child labour amongst forcibly displaced persons and vulnerable host community members in Iraq. 

Together with one of its local implementing partners, Al-Tahreer Association for Development, the ILO held a meeting with officials from the Directorate of the Community Police at the Ministry of Interior, the Director of the Women Empowerment Department at the Ninewa Governorate Office, the Director of Ninewa Statistics at the Ministry of Planning and the Director of the Department of Labour at the Directorate of Labour and Social Affairs.

The ILO briefed officials on its project which targets both children in or at risk of the worst forms of child labour and discussed areas of collaboration to support both children and their families in efforts to increase protection and find sustainable solutions that address the root causes of child labour in the country. Representatives discussed how the project’s activities are closely aligned with the responsibilities of the various government departments addressing child labour.

“This is the first child labour specific project to address child labour in the Ninewa governorate and we hope that by linking with these efforts, we will be able to build a strong structure for the governorate to tackle child labour,” said Methaq Taleb, the Director of the Department of Labour at Directorate of Labour and Social Affairs.

According to the 2019 Iraq Humanitarian Needs Overview, "an estimated 6.7 million people in Iraq, including 3.3 million children, continue to need some form of humanitarian assistance". These include internally displaced people, returnees, and vulnerable communities hosting them.

“Years of military conflict and displacement has left many children vulnerable to risks, including child labour," said Maha Kattaa, ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq. “With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, even more children are being forced into work, further increasing their vulnerabilities and exposing them to increased risks. This makes it even more urgent for us to join forces with local partners to addresses those immediate and pressing concerns, as we continue to work toward finding more sustainable solutions.”

ILO project activities in Iraq target both Ninewa and Dohuk Governorates. They include the establishment of a Child Labour Monitoring System, increasing access to quality education for children, providing skills training and income-generating activities to older siblings and caretakers of vulnerable children, and supporting the development of a National Action Plan against child labour, in collaboration with ILO’s tripartite partners and other relevant partners.

These efforts are implemented with support from the European Regional Development and Protection Programme for Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq  (RDPP II)  - a joint European initiative supported by the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union, Ireland and Switzerland.