Media centre

Press releases

Photo essays


Contact the team



Yesterday a student, today a baker

By Saeed Khodadadi

Iran, Tehran, 3 October 2010 -Wiping the sweat off his forehead with a handkerchief, Hojjat Motaghimanesh began to knead the dough with his hands. It is hard work for a boy his age. Hojjat is 15 years old. He lost his father three years ago in an accident and since then has been working in a bakery in district four of Tehran.

He gave up his studies after finishing grade five of primary school because he had to earn a living for his family. His mother is sick and cannot work, but he has six sisters and two brothers who live in a village in Zanjan province, where he was born. Hojjat earns a little more than 20 dollars a month. He really regrets leaving school, but he said he had no choice.

“If I had continued my studies, I wouldn’t have been able to earn a living for my family,” he explained. “The only job I knew was how to bake bread.”

I asked him if he liked his job.

"I do, thank God,” he replied. “The only problem is that I don’t’ get enough sleep and there is no insurance.”

I ask him if one day, if he had enough money he would like to open his own bakery.

“Definitely, and if I have the money, I would open one in Tehran”, he replied.

“What about any other job, like car mechanics or welding or anything else?” I asked. He sighed.

”It makes no difference. They’re all the same. Despite everything being so expensive nowadays, with the help of God I’ve managed to stand on my own feet.”

Which right(s) are at the centre of this case?
1. The right to a proper health and nutrition
2. The right to preserve your family relations
3. The right to play
4. The right to be protected from engaging in work that constitutes a threat to your health, education or development



 Email this article

unite for children