Child Labour Surges in Afghanistan Due to Taliban’s Bad Policies

Sun Mar 24 2024
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KABUL: The prevalence of child labour in Afghanistan has seen a concerning rise attributed to the harmful policies of the Taliban regime and the nation’s challenging economic conditions, leaving countless children compelled to work in various hazardous environments.

Under the Taliban’s governance, children in Afghanistan have been deprived of their freedom and robbed of their childhood, with limited opportunities to exercise their rights. The grim reality of child labour has become increasingly apparent, particularly in Kabul, where the number of child labourers has surged during the holy month of Ramadan.

Children across Afghanistan are found engaging in various forms of labour, including brick-making, carpet weaving, construction work, mining, farming, street begging, and waste collection. The dire economic situation exacerbated by the Taliban’s policies has forced many families to rely on the income generated by their children, pushing them into exploitative labour practices.

Child Labour Surges by 38% in Afghanistan

According to Arshad Malik, the Country Director of Safety Children in Afghanistan, the number of child labourers has risen by approximately 38 percent, reflecting the harsh impact of economic instability on vulnerable communities. Many children shared their struggles, expressing that they are compelled to work due to the dire circumstances at home, where hunger and poverty prevail.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) declared 2023 as a disastrous year for children in Afghanistan, highlighting the urgent need for humanitarian assistance to address their plight. Reports from the US Department of Labor have underscored the detrimental effects of child labour, including physical injuries, poor health conditions, and psychological trauma suffered by the young workforce.

Moreover, the Taliban’s restrictions on women’s employment have further exacerbated the situation, indirectly contributing to the rise in child labour as families grapple with limited earning opportunities. Shockingly, children are also subjected to forced labour, with reports indicating their involvement in illicit activities such as drug trafficking and facing exploitation, physical abuse, and sexual violence.


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