6 July 2013 | via Al Jazeera

Some children reportedly earn just 25 per cent of the wage they are entitled to.

Jordan Valley, occupied Palestinian territories – Small, frail bodies move systematically in the orchards, picking and cleaning fruit and vegetables, placing them into containers, before finally loading them onto trucks. Like clockwork, every day between 5am and 2pm, these Palestinian children work inside illegal settlements in the Jordan Valley to help their families, having left the idea of school far behind.

Ismai’l is just 16, but dropped out of high school and turned to work in the settlement of Argaman to provide for his 12-member family, and to help his older brother pay for his university tuition. He works in the fields for up to eight hours, sometimes seven days a week, depending on the season.

“I want to continue going to school in the future but hopefully… before I become too old to finish,” said Isma’il, who hails from the Jordan Valley village of Al Zubeidat. “Now I cannot go back because money for the family is our necessity and this is what needs to be done.”

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