Civil Society Coalition Calls Attention to Child Labor in Iraq
Baghdad, Iraq – A community action group from the Al-Jadeeda neighborhood of Iraq's capital city has brought together representatives of local and national government as well as an area NGO to host a community-wide event highlighting the issue of child labor and what can be done to prevent it.
The event followed a series of training workshops in volunteer management offered by the Iraq Community Action Program (ICAP), implemented in Baghdad by IRD. The workshops equip CAG members with the know-how to identify issues of concern to their community and to galvanize citizens to volunteer time to community service.
Millions of children worldwide work to support their families. In Baghdad, community action groups are working with citizens to create awareness of and begin addressing the problem.
With economic hardship driving more and more Iraqi children into the workforce to help support their families, Al-Jadeeda citizens have placed a premium on educating parents on the dangers of child labor and, in particular, the costs of foregoing primary school education.
That is why they enlisted the help of their CAG, which, in turn, partnered with local NGO Al-Mustafa Cultural Center to design an awareness campaign around the issue. With CAG support, the campaign culminated in the Iraq government making available a training hall to host a workshop for area families focusing on the problem of child labor worldwide and highlighting key aspects of children’s rights in Iraq.
The training has been so successful that the CAG has extended it through December 2012, a testament to both the relevance of the issue and the dedication of all involved. By bringing together civil society and local government—and harnessing government resources—the Al-Jadeeda CAG has made good on a key pillar of ICAP: fostering partnership between citizens and those who represent them.
The USAID-funded ICAP is managed in Baghdad by IRD.