The death of my father, on April 16, 2016, within the pro-legitimacy forces in the town of Al-Waziya in southwestern Yemen, and his salary was cut off after his death, and then my grandmother who was taking care of us was wounded by a landmine that made her lose the ability to move, the space to stay at my house and see my five brothers killed by hunger. And poverty, which is why I went out compulsively in search of work to support my five brothers and grandmother. “
With these words, the child Waheeb Hamid Al-Qatbi (10 years old) initiated us when we asked him about the motives that made him go to work at this age. Read also UN report: Corona pandemic may push millions of children into the labor marketIn the video: Girls of Al-Qahwa .. Two Egyptian girls help their sick fatherIn numbers … the impact of the Corona pandemic on child labor in the worldIraqi Kurdistan .. The phenomenon of child labor intensifies with the deterioration of the economic conditions
The child, Waheeb Al-Qatabi, tried in the last period to search for work at many shops, but it did not succeed, before one of the merchants gave him the opportunity to work by selling perfumes in the Al-Shaqira market in the south of the country, which caused a sensation on social networking sites after being seen by activists Media professionals in the region’s market, who criticized the suspension of his father’s salary after his death, and called on merchants and families to stand by the child and support him.
Media activist Abdul-Jabbar Ali Hadi, who was the first to come across the Qutbi child in the market and published about him on social media, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net that he was surprised when he saw a child of this age pressing to work to save his five siblings after his father’s salary stopped, to publish on his page. In the hope of supporting the child, which was achieved through the response of some philanthropists in the region.
Hady estimates what was collected from these donations at the equivalent of approximately $ 700, to be considered afterwards to establish a small project for him that can be developed, as a small shop was opened for him to sell Eid gifts, after a person donated free land to the shop without rent, as the child launched the work in the shop A week ago.
Between work and education
The total cost of equipping the shop was estimated at about $ 450, while the remaining amount was allocated $ 250 to provide simple tools to launch the work in the shop, which is witnessing a turnout of many shoppers to support the child by purchasing from it, and the adopters of the idea of child support aspire to expand the shop in the next stage, including He contributes to improving his family’s income and stability, in order to preserve the future of the rest of his brothers, as they say.
The child, Waheeb Al-Qatubi, confirms his determination to complete his education, as he is currently studying in the third grade in the basic stage, despite his extreme need for this work to meet the needs of his family to escape hunger and unemployment, as he explained that he has a brother close to his age who will work to exchange work hours with him in order to preserve time Work and education.
The expansion of the phenomenon of employment
On the reasons for the increase in child labor in Yemen, Ahmed Al-Qurashi, director of the Siyaj Childhood Organization, told Al-Jazeera Net that the most prominent of these reasons is the sharp economic decline that more than 85% of Yemenis have reached below the poverty line, and there is a large percentage of Yemenis in need of food.
Al-Qurashi indicated that they have estimates of the number of children who work in Yemen, and that their rates have increased in recent years, reaching more than 3-4 times what was the situation before 2014, explaining that the worst forms of child labor in Yemen are recruitment and their participation in armed action. And their participation in actions that represent harm to their health and human dignity.
The International Labor Organization confirms that 1.4 million Yemeni working children are deprived of their most basic rights, and that 34% of those working in Yemen are between the ages of 5 and 17 years. While the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in Yemen estimates the rate of participation of children in the workforce at 40%, the average weekly working hours for children are 23 hours, and half of these children are engaged in dangerous work that may cause them to lose their lives, and 32% of working children in Yemen is subjected to sexual harassment.