Youths Participate Program: First Episode entitled “Child Labor”

Pal-Think for Strategic Studies resumes the implementation of “Enhancing the Democratic Participation of Palestinian Youths” project funded by the Canadian Government.

The project entails streaming radio episodes called “Youths Participate” through Al-Wann Radio Channel. The first episode introduced the listeners to the stages of the project. “The project aims at empowering the Palestinian youths because the Palestinian society requires well-prepared ones to work. Working on this project maintains a form of sustainability towards improving our society; Pal-Think shares the same idea of dedicating a good number of its projects for youths” Yehya Qaoud, trainer and mentor for the project, said.

He added “Through this project, we target a number of 20 youths and we work on honing their skills in writing research papers through which they can address the social issues they concern about”

The training days the participants received at the beginning of the project helped them prepare research papers as an expression of several pressing social issues they observe in their communities.

Following the episode, there was a light on a research paper that Mona’a Al-Mosadar, one of the participants, wrote entitled “Child Labor in the Gaza Strip”. At the outset of discussing the paper, AlWann Radio Channel viewed an opinion poll report that reflected opinions of the public on the title aforementioned. The report showed how caring the Palestinian street is of putting pressure to deal with this phenomenon. Civilians spoke about different reasons why those children are at streets. Indeed, some assumed that the deteriorating economic situation in the Gaza Strip unequivocally forces children to get out of their homes. Others suggested that it is out of ignorance and illiteracy that families let their children out. Simultaneously, passersby referred to different strategies that may contribute in reducing the exacerbation of this problem. An interviewee said that there has to be inaugurations to special economic projects for dynamic futures and empowerment for families. Other interviewees highlighted that children have to be well cared about by specialized organizations. 

Mona’a introduced the definition of a child based on the Convention of the Rights of the Child, ” A child is psychologically and negatively affected if found in a workplace and this could be a deterrent for enjoying their ideal environment they have to be in” She added.

Mona’a stressed that our society has been witnessing this phenomenon for ages; it thus accepts it. Day by day, the problem worsens as the number of labor children increases. Statistically speaking, studies in 2017 show that 4840 children in the Gaza Strip are labors. As a matter of fact, reasons for this problem vary. One of the most remarkable reasons is the economic situation manifested in the increase of unemployment, salaries crisis and the increase of poverty rates which all in all force families to send their children to work. Mona’a amplified the reasons including the exceptional political circumstances in the Gaza Strip and the role the occupation plays in hardening and worsening it in the Gaza Strip.

Mona’a mentioned the children aged less than 15 are not permitted to work based on Article 93. She also talked about the role of huge organizations such as the UN, UNICEF and others which concern about children care. In the paper, she added that there are civic society organizations that are great examples working with children.

By a way of conclusion, Mona’a proposed a number of solutions for this rising problem for instance devoting governmental programs to recruit parents, finding out safe houses for labor children and coordinating with the Ministry of Education to keep an eye on children and especially by assigning the school consultant to enhance the children towards education at school. 

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