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27.12.2020 Victims of War and Conflicts: Child Labor in Afghanistan
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There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which
it treats its children.”  – Nelson Mandela-

Children are future citizens of the Nation and their adequate development
is utmost priority of the country. Unfortunately, child labor engulfs
children across the world specifically in developing countries. Child
labor in Afghanistan is one of the serious debates for human rights and
law enforcement, it’s including in arm conflict, forced labor in
production of bricks, carpets, construction and sometimes resulted human
trafficking as well. Initially the child labor is a widespread and complex
issue to overcome with details, however in this short study has been tried
to cover the main factors and effects of child labor in Afghanistan
recently. Generally children are the main victims of the conflicts and
war.

Studying about child labor in Afghanistan is complicated with several
reasons while the majority of the study showing the main reason that
children are sent off to work is that they can feed their families caused
by loss of their parent or both parents, or a child might have to go to
work because of he/she lost father and their Mother is not able to work
because of her gender in a traditional society and the most importantly
poverty is the main cause of child labor in Afghanistan. Long terms of war
and conflict effected Afghanistan’s children to have a normal life, many of
them lost their family and parents, UNICSF estimates that almost 25 percent
of the children in Afghanistan between ages 7-14 are working, this
measurement probably underestimate the total figure, based on this report
children in school enrolment and attendance is very low only half of all
school age children going to school and the rest of the dropout rate is
about 70 percent which is a high rate and they are to be found in many
forms of child labor including arms, manufacturing, agriculture etc.

 However, the labor law of Afghanistan stated that the minimum employment
age is 18 and prohibits children under 14 to work and the children at the
ages of 15-17 can work in a job with a comfortable environment and no
harmful impacts like vocational training. Moreover in international labor
standard on child labor emphasized that the child labor is a violation and
it’s the fundamental of human rights and it has been shown to hinder
children’s growth and improvement, potentially to lifelong physical or any
psychological damage.

International labor organization noted about the consequences of child
labor in Afghanistan that are direct threat to the future for Afghanistan
and in particular, an area of concern for global prosperity and security
opposes in general. In fact child labor and poverty are directly connected
as poverty increase child labor increase as well. The impacts of child
labor on the children mental and physical wellbeing and damage the
children mentally and socially. In Afghanistan particularly the
consequences of child labor might be exposure on deception and
exploitation by terrorist and criminal groups, high chances of to be
involving in drug addiction, sexual exploitation, prevention from
attending school and negatively affecting retention and performance and
deprivation from the right to play, the right to be protected from harm,
and access to health services, food, and safe shelter are the certain
consequences of child labor in Afghanistan that will have a huge impact on
the future of the nation. 

Additionally, in recent years progress has been made in the area of child
protection and safety, legislation and bonded laborers in some parts of
Afghanistan. However the main issue of child labor still not been given
sufficient important and attention by the national themselves. It is
because of many factors such as lack of having a comprehensive strategy to
the potential of government, international institution and non-governmental
constitutions to change social norms and traditions through public
awareness and emphasize the correlation of child labor and poverty as well
as the future of human capital and social development that children are the
main factors in future.  

Children are valuable assets for a society and play an important role in
national building and its considered to be the main human capital of a
nation while, in Afghanistan children facing with many challenges and
difficulties of life and surviving the most and the worst is child labor
which has several factors and reasons however, in Afghanistan the two main
factors are the reason of high rate child labor, long term of war and
conflicts the second is poverty which is correlated between each other.
Ultimately, it must be made strategy in regard to end and decrease the
rate of child labor in the country. As a comprehensive strategy that focus
to end the worst forms of child labor such arms, manufacturing, sexual
abuse etc. there are several solutions to end and decrease the rate of
child labor mainly improving the ecomonic, creating jobs, training etc.
The UNICEF stated in a report in 2020 that the government of Afghanistan
and its international donors has given low budget allocations for the
social protection of children particularly in social support such as
education, legal advice and public health services because these factors
can help to end and reduce the child labor in the country, it is needed to
have the strategies of change and transformation about the future of
children through the economic development, social support, social justice,
public services and health care.
KHAAMA PRESS


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