gulfnews : Gaza children labour to help families

Young people are driven by poverty to work long hours at the expense of their education.

  • By Nasser Najjar, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 December 19, 2010
  • Gulf News
Gaza children

  • Poverty and deprivation is what drives families to push their children to abandon their schooling and force them to work after school if given the chance. According to the ministry of social affairs, roughly 80 per cent of Gazan families currently live in poverty.
  • Image Credit: Nasser Najjar/Gulf News
Image 1 of 2
12

Gaza: Among the loads of automotive parts, equipment and heavy machinery along the two-way roads of Azgola in the west of Gaza city are many children working. Ahmad Al Kurd is one of them.

After four hours of continuously intense work, a rather wearisome smile seemed to light up the oil-smeared face of Ahmad when had was called for a tea break.

With ragged clothes that have been worn to shreds, the 15-year-old boy appears to have become used to this line of work that not only requires the skills of a qualified auto body mechanic but also a strict attendance from nine in the morning until six in the evening, six days a week.

Despite the long hours of demanding work, those children are considered rather fortunate to be granted such a profession in the poverty-ridden Gaza Strip. Although their jobs might cost them their education.

It has been three years since Ahmad was first given the burden of this responsibility along with supporting his entire family of seven brothers and sisters.

“I want to help my family,” he said, his words drowned out by the noise in the shop. Child labour is on the rise in the Gaza strip regardless of the Palestinian Child’s Rights Law of 2004 stating that children below the age of 15 are barred from working.

Deprivation

Poverty and deprivation is what drives families to push their children to abandon their schooling and force them to work after school if given the chance.

According to the ministry of social affairs, roughly 80 per cent of Gazan families currently live in poverty with an income of less than $250.00 (Dh917.5) a month. Poverty might force parents to send their children to work under any circumstance.

Beside the eastern border of Gaza strip, seven-year-old Majid Abu Amra said, “I come here after school with my brothers and cousins to collect pebbles.” He added, “I see them collecting pebbles so I do too.”

In spite of the natural right of a child to play with other children, Ahmad, Majid and many others can no longer take pleasure in that right because they are bound to their work.

According to Ard Al Insan, a non governmental organisation associated with social affairs in the Gaza strip, nearly 36 per cent of children in Gaza are working and pushing schooling aside.

gulfnews : Gaza children labour to help families.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: