World Day against Child Labour in Iraq

In order to raise awareness for the World Day against Child Labour ThD Italy organized five events at Debaga Camp in Iraq to inform about child labour and its consequences in a playful but informative way.

In the first camp the educators prepared a puppet show that shows a typical Iraqi family with children who talked about child labour and what its causes and consequences are. Since most of the children attending were under 12, they really enjoyed the puppet show, but at the same time understood the most important messages: the importance of education and the danger of child labour, as well as its effects  on the wellbeing of children. At the second event in Debaga Stadium the 100 children attending prepared a theatre performance. The story revolved around two girls, one of them leaving school to start work and she never has the chance to learn how to porperly read and write. The other girl stays in school and becomes a businesswoman. Later in life, the girl who left school feels sad and isolated because she is illiterate. Her childhood friend reaches out to help her.

At the third event of the day children and their families, as well as other organisations and the camp management where invited to a celebration at Debaga 2. First of all children performes a few songs and presented poetry. This was followed by the screening of a short film about the Convention of the Rights of Children which led to a short debate on child labour in Iraq. The fourth and fifth event put an emphasize on the process that can cause a child to have to leave school and start to work. This was illustrated with another theatrical performance devolped by the children and drawings of children that showed their opinion on child labour.

Accomplishments of the Events

In all of the events that Thd Italy organized, especially during the discussions, it became clear that child labour is a very complex issue. In Iraq child labour is a common phenomenon, supporting your family is seen as admirable if it is not neccessary, which makes the subject particualrly tricky. Since the messages of the events where tailored to each age group the children could easily understand them. Afterwards many of children who attended discussed the terrible consequences child labour could have on their health and wellbeing. Moreover, they understood that staying in school has many benefits and that its their right to attend school, play with their peers and be children.

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This event took place on World Day against Child Labour 2017.