Like Afghanistan before it, US-occupied Iraq has now become a 'key drug route'. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) says lawlessness and lack of border control have helped Iraq become a major trafficking route for Afghan heroin.
Add that to the latest Reuters report on child labour in Iraq:
More than a million youngsters work often enduring hazardous conditions, as well as being vulnerable to sexual abuse and violence, according to a report released at the end of 2004. The report was based on a nationwide survey in which 19,610 Iraqis participated.Not a pretty picture is it? But hey! Perhaps you'd rather hear some GOOD NEWS instead, right?!?
The project was a joint effort between the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and several Iraqi ministries, including the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Public Works and Social Affairs (MoPWSA) and the Ministry of Education (MoE)...
The main reason for child labour in Iraq is poverty. Nearly 25 percent of the country's population lives below the poverty line, according to the interim government...
According to the 2004 survey, nearly 1,300,000 children, aged between eight and 16 were working. This represents 6.1 percent of the country's population.
In addition, the survey revealed long working hours, with 27 percent of children working for more than eight hours daily.