By: Shukria Kohistani
UNAMA, Issuing a statement announced that millions of Afghan children are deprived of their basic rights.
Lawmakers recently passed the law to reduce violence against children while some of the lawmakers have welcomed the step, saying it could bring a positive change in children’s lives, while a number of other members of the house expressed opposition to some of articles of the law.
Thousands of children are currently engaged in child labor and the government should provide education and training opportunities for them. Unfortunately, the number of children engaged in heavy works are increasing every day while in many countries, including Afghanistan, employing of children in heavy work is legally banned. It is believed that war and insecurity have caused children to take up jobs because of loss of their respective families. Even today, children are begging and working in garbage to earn a piece of bread. Brick kiln are the place where children are employed, working as pupils in workshops, bakeries and tailoring shops. Children should not work there and they have to go to school.
Javeed and Freshta are two of the children who sell plastic bags and clean cars’ glasses in the city.
They say that are busy working since the early hours of the morning till evening and by doing so want to help their families.
These children earn between 30 and 50 Afghanis through their work and which they buy some bread to their families. UNAMA also issued a statement on the occasion of International Human Rights Day saying that it has joined the Worldwide Campaign for Youth for Human Rights to highlight the “Important role of youth as a representative of change”.
“Millions of children in Afghanistan have been deprived of their basic rights, including the right to live, health, education, recreation, the right to participate and development with their full potential,” the UN Office in Kabul said. UNAMA has cited attacks on schools, hospitals, unexploded ordnance, war as factors that affect children. UNAMA officials believe that the continuation of war and insecurity exposes children to employment and exploitation of those involved in war and that they are eventually subject to sexual violence. “Young people have always been driven by political, economic and social change, and in Afghanistan the young generation is essential to build the future of the country and their full potential is essential to protecting their basic rights. “said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, on International Human Rights Day.
According to the United Nations, Afghanistan has a very young population and two-thirds of the population is estimated to be under 5 years old.
According to some families, still the situation of children in Afghanistan is worrisome as they see many children in the country, especially in the streets of the city, away from education and are unfortunately not treated humanely. We hope the Afghan government have clearer plans for the situation of street children.