Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Large percentage of children work in Yemen

A large percentage of Yemeni children have to find jobs to support their family. Some children are even smuggled across the border into Saudi Arabia because the jobs are better paying there. 40 percent of Yemen children between the ages of seven and thirteen work, some in dangerous jobs.

From this AFP article that we found at the Mail and Guardian, writer Janal Al-Jaberi tells us about a pair of young brothers who are forced to work.

Eleven-year-old Raseel al-Khameri and his eight-year-old mute brother, Anwar, spend their days working in the garage in Sana'a in an attempt to sustain a needy family in the village of al-Akhmoor, 300km south of the capital.

"I work day and night. You'll find me here [in the workshop] anytime from 9am until 4am," Raseel says shyly, as his small hands skilfully work with various car parts.

With an innocent smile never leaving his face, little Anwar closely follows his older brother's moves as he also tries to master the job.

A study carried out in 2010 by the United States-based aid group CHF International revealed that out of Yemen's 11-million children, five million are currently employed.

Three-fifths of those do not receive an education while the remaining two million both study and work at the same time.

CHF said that 40% of Yemeni children are drawn into the labour market between the ages of seven and 13.

CHF said that 80% of those children are involved in hazardous and arduous jobs, while more than 60% use dangerous tools and over 30% said that they were injured or have fallen ill due to their jobs.

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