The Iranian regime has admitted that at least 120,000 minors are working as child labourers, although the real figure may be far higher.
An official at Iran’s Welfare Organization, Mohammad Reza Heydarhaie, revealed the figure of workers aged under 18 speaking to semi-official news agency ISNA on Monday.
Tens of thousands of children have had to drop out of school and try and scrimp a living to help their family survive amid the continuing economic crisis with sky-rocketing inflation of nearly 50 per cent.
Heydarhaie also admitted there has been a surge in the number of children living on garbage dumps.
Many also sell goods in the streets, clean cars or are exploited by adults as professional beggars.
Heydarhaie said: “According to the latest figures, there are a total of 120,000 minors in the country who are in child labor.”
He added: "Last year, 14,500 street children were identified, of which about 10,500 used the services of the welfare organization, and the rest did not want to receive such services."
It is believed that more than 5% of construction work in Iran is being done by children, despite the dangers.
Those employing children benefit from greater profits thanks to their lower wages.
Campaigners say that government institutions are not only reluctant to solve this problem, but are the main culprits.
Heydarhaie claimed it is against the interest of children for them to be forced off the streets by officials, saying: “It does not solve their problem,” and would put them out of reach of help from welfare organisations.