Afghan Children Being Sold Into Forced Labor

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Endemic poverty in parts of Afghanistan is forcing many poor families to sell their children in order to survive, RFE/Human rights officials say dire economic conditions have forced many families in the northern Jawzjan Province — one of the most undeveloped regions in Afghanistan — to sell their kids. RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan reports. The International Save the Children Alliance, an NGO dedicated to eradicating child labor worldwide, said in a 2010 report that some 28 percent of all children between the ages of 5-15 in Jawzjan have been sold by their parents or guardians.

Farid, a 4-year-old boy in Jawzjan, was sold to a relative eight months ago following the death of his father. His mother, who remarried, received 12,000 afghanis ($280) for her son with the expectation that he would work for the relative. “When he was brought to the hospital a week ago, the burns on his body were badly infected and swollen,” Dr. Khalil Hidari, the head of the hospital, told RFE/RL. “He was suffering from malnutrition and was in very poor health.” “Unfortunately, many Afghans do not know their own rights or those for children and women,” says Maghferat Samimi, head of the provincial office in Jawzjan for Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission. “The Afghan government, which is obliged to stop the selling and trading of children under the convention, is ill-equipped to curb the increasing trend of children being sold into child labor.

Title: Afghan Children being sold into forced labor
Publication: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Author: Staff
Url: http://www.rferl.org/content/afghanistan_children_being_sold_into_forced_labor/24326343.html
Student researcher: Sean Lawrence, Sonoma State University
Faculty Advisor: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University