Iyad Abdel-Salim, 12, left school six months ago and has been working to boost the family income. His father was killed in Iraq's political violence. As the only boy in the family, and with three smaller sisters to look after, he was forced to go onto the streets and work.
"I cannot see my family suffer without food. My mother cannot go to work because she has to stay with my sisters, and our uncles cannot help us as they are displaced and without money," Abdel-Salim said.
"I feel tired when I get home. I usually stay 12 hours in the streets selling chocolates and pencils. I eat just one meal a day to save money, and when I return I just want to sleep," he said.
Thousands of children, like Abdel-Salam, have moved onto the streets to help augment their family's income, either because they have lost their fathers in the violence, or because they are forced to help as their families do not consider education to be important. Some of the children have no one to look after them.
"I have no choice. Life in Iraq has turned into hell. It is dangerous to work in the streets. Twice men tried to rape me. God protected me and I was saved, but maybe one day I will be abused," Abdel-Salim said.