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Refugees in Lebanon

These refugee children are left with no choice but to work on the streets

There are an estimated 180,000 children working in Lebanon, they're being robbed of their childhood and put at greater risk of violence. With no other way of buying food, they're forced out to work doing jobs like selling CDs on the roadside and working in quarries. With support from a number of funders, including Stichting Vluchteling (SV),  European Commission - Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations,  the SAID and Olayan Foundations, the International Rescue Committee has helped more than 2,000 children involved in child labour throughout Lebanon.

  • Brothers Hani* (13) and Amer* (15), originally from Damascus, have worked in a stone quarry in northern Bekaa for the past two years. They work eight and half hours a day and are involved in work that is too dangerous for children.

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  • Fadi* is 15 and works at a garage, he has not been to school since fled from Al-Qusayr in Syria five years ago. An IRC survey in northern Bekaa found that an ’average’ child laborer was 13 years old and worked for eight hours for £1.70 a day.

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  • Aged between 8 and 12, these children sell CDs on Tripoli’s waterfront. An IRC survey identified that 90 per cent of street children in Tripoli were originally from the Aleppo and 70 per cent work between 6 and 10 hours a day, earning up to £11.

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  • Sara* is only four years old but begs for nine hours a day, six days a week, with her three-year-old brother on the streets of Beirut. Sara doesn’t go to school but attends sessions with the IRC, to learn and play as well as take part in fun activities.

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  • There are thought to be 180,000 children working across Lebanon, the IRC’s survey found more than half were using dangerous tools or regularly exposed to hazardous substances. A fifth had been injured while working.

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  • Syrian refugee children begging at the sides of busy roads in Beirut, Lebanon. As cars stop at traffic lights they approach drivers and passengers asking for money.

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  • Karim*, originally from Daraa, works at a car workshop in Mount Lebanon’s industrial area. He works around 11 hours a day, carrying heavy objects which can be damaging for his bones and physical development.

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  • 14 year old, Amer*, originally from Daraa, works at another workshop, he is exposed to exposed to fumes as well as dangerous machines and sharp tools, for 11 hours each day.

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  • Ten-year old Kaseem*, originally from Hassakah in northeastern Syria, doesn’t go to school and works eight hours a day, six days a week, selling sweets on the streets of Beirut.

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