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Exploitation and Exclusion: A Socio-Cultural Analysis of Child Labour in Iran

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Abstract Poverty and unemployment in families may produce child labour. These and other factors, such as uneven development, may deprive parts of society from social privileges. Indeed, uneven development is the main cause of poverty and unemployment, especially in a country’s marginal, ethnic and religious areas. Following the Revolution, Iranian society was confronted with a rising population – it has doubled over the four decades. Unlike the population, the country’s economy has not experienced a boom; instead, there has been a downward turn in the economic-development rate under sanctions and macro-level policies, leading to higher levels of unemployment and poverty. Under these circumstances, families use their children’s labour to make up part of their expenses. Families without caretakers or with irresponsible caretakers also cause child labour. Some heads of families are unable to work and support their families for reasons such as addiction, illness and disability, while others have already died. Thus, families are faced with rising poverty, and this prompts children to enter the work cycle. Poverty in families without caretakers or with irresponsible caretakers proves the ineffectiveness of the country’s protection policies. This article is an excerpt from the book Traces of Exploitation in Childhood (A Comprehensive Research on Forms, Causes and Consequences of Child Labour in Iran).2 Keywords: Child labour, harms, community, culture, childhood study
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