June 23, 2022
A senior Iranian judiciary official has warned that waste-recycling factories owned by municipal contractors have been employing children in an “organized” manner.
Mohammad Fathi, director-general of the judiciary’s Office of Women and Family Affairs, said on June 22 that municipal contractors had been “forcing children to work long hours in completely harmful conditions” and called on the contractors to improve monitoring of worksites.
The warning came after another official, Mehdi Aghrarian, the head of the Legal and Supervision Commission of the Tehran city council, called for an end to the practice.
“Garbage collection is very difficult and children and adolescents should not be used under any circumstances,” he said.
According to the website IranKargar, which covers labor news in Iran, about 14,000 garbage collectors are working in Tehran, one-third of whom are children. The waste trade in Iran is estimated to be worth about $1.5 billion annually.
Ahmad Ahmadi Sadr, the chief executive officer at the state welfare organization, told a meeting of the Special Working Group on the Prevention of Social Injuries on June 20 that the number of working children in the country had increased fivefold in the past year.
Iran’s judiciary says it has no legal authority to act on the matter even though there is a ban on child labor.