Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Iraq

Iraq
2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Minimal Advancement – Efforts Made but Continued Practice that Delayed Advancement

In 2020, Iraq made minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Ministry of Interior investigated several cases implicating Ministry of Interior police and Iraqi Security Forces members in sex trafficking crimes, including prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of six police officers and two Internal Security Forces service members for trafficking boys and girls into sexual exploitation. In addition, the Ministry of Interior upgraded the Anti-Trafficking Directorate from departmental to directorate status and increased its allocation of financial and human resources. However, despite initiatives to address child labor, Iraq is assessed as having made only minimal advancement because it continued a practice that delays advancement to eliminate child labor. Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities continued to inappropriately detain and prosecute without legal representation children allegedly affiliated with ISIS—some of whom were victims of forcible recruitment and use—and used abusive interrogation techniques and torture to gain children’s confessions. Children in Iraq are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including in forced begging and in commercial sexual exploitation, each sometimes as a result of human trafficking. The government did not provide information on its labor or criminal law enforcement efforts for inclusion in this report. It also continues to lack programs that focus on assisting children involved in the worst forms of child labor.

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