Waste collection and processing companies working for municipalities in Iran are often employing child laborers, a top judiciary official has warned.
Mohammad Fathi, director-general of the judiciary’s Office for Women and Family Affairs, said on Wednesday that recycling plants in particular were known for exploiting young people in “an organized manner”.
“Municipal contractors often have children working long hours,” he said, “in totally dangerous and non-standard conditions, and at low wages.”
Days earlier, Mehdi Aghrarian, head of the Legal and Supervision Commission of the Tehran City Council, had noted the same.
He called on municipalities to monitor the performance of any outsourced services in this arena: “Garbage collection is very difficult and children and adolescents should not be used under any circumstances."
Contractors’ use of child labor has been a matter of concern for years, but as yet there have been no reports of offenders facing any reprisal. On Wednesday Fathi also repeated an old claim that “the bulk” of working and street children are foreign nationals from countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, which IranWire has previously found to be unsubstantiated.