children have become Main victims of humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, with poor families who are forced to take Desperate measures such as child marriage or encouraging your children to workWhereas the situation gets worse with the arrival of winter.
Sameer, just 8 years old, sells gum at Kabul’s Shar-e-Now Park for less than two dollars a day, and however, takes a bat with him to play cricket whenever he has free time. keeps, His goal is to raise enough money to pay his house rent, food and dreams of becoming an engineer one day.
The death of the father of an Afghan army member in a suicide attack in the northern province of Baglan forced his mother to move with the family to Kabul in search of opportunity.
dream of having a baby
“I can’t go to school every day because I have to come to sell gum and earn money for my family. I lost my father in a suicide attack (…) We are two brothers and three sisters who are my mother. I live with. I love my family and work for them.”Sameer explained.
Since his house is “not good,” he says, he wants to one day become an “engineer to build tall buildings.”
But Sameer’s case is not unique. Other minors are also motivated to make some contribution to the family income, whether they have to work like them for endless hours or take long night walks to return home.
Kamin, another boy who works on the street, said, “My father is handicapped and my elder brother is a shoe shiner, we are nine family members and we live in a rented house, so we have to work.”
apparently repeating what he hears from the elders, Kamin hopes international aid to support his family will return soon, following the cut-off of normal financial flows with the Taliban coming to power on 15 August. So you can go to school, play cricket and become a doctor.
“I am in school and I want to be a doctor. I would like to be a cricketer like Rashid and Nabi,” he said, naming two stars of the game in Afghanistan.
being a father and poor
Limited by strict social norms that prevent her from going out alone or talking to strangers, Shaima along with her 4-year-old daughter begs passers-by. “It is not good to leave home alone so I have to bring my daughter with me, I am sad to see my daughter begging, but what do I do? I have six family members and my husband is sick and bedridden So I have no other option,” she said.
Poverty not only led to an increase in child labor and an increase in school dropouts, it was also reflected in the higher number of child marriages.
Abdul Malik left his 9-year-old daughter after being unable to repay a nearly $2,000 loan he had borrowed for a failing animal husbandry business. “I did not really intend to sell my daughter or give it in marriage, but I borrowed money to earn a living and could not return it. The lender made me pay him. So he gave me the option of paying more and taking my daughter. I had no choice but to accept,” admitted Malik.
In Afghan culture and Islam, child marriage or the sale of children is prohibited and considered a crime. But “when you have no other possibility to ensure the survival of the family, that is the only option,” he said.
I had no choice, he insists, but “I swear I wasn’t going to give my daughter to marry him, she’s only 9 years old,” he laments.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), child marriages are on the rise in Afghanistan, even as credible information from families shows daughters as young as 20 days old for future marriages in exchange for money. is offered.
And the situation could get worse.
UNICEF has warned that with the arrival of the harsh and cold Afghan winter, around 14 million children face problems accessing food and that more than a million could die from severe malnutrition if immediate aid does not reach the country.
This time “There are more than 2.3 million children suffering from malnutrition across the country, in our hospital alone in the last three months, 25 children have died of malnutrition. We haven’t had fuel, food or medicine for three months.”Dr. Noorulhaq Yousafzai, head of Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Hospital, emphasized.
With information from EFE