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New report finds child workers subjected to abuse

Graphic: Young boy carrying a heavy sack on his back

The Commission's report has found that there are some 1.2 million child labourers in the country, many subjected to danger and abuse.

A new report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has found there are some 1.2 million child labourers in the country, with many facing dangerous working conditions, physical abuse and sexual harassment.

Some of the report's key findings, based on interviews with 657 child labourers in 25 provinces across the country, include:

  • 80% of respondents were aged 12 years and above, although some workers were as young as seven
  • 90% of respondents worked for more than 35 hours each week, with some working at night
  • 56% of respondents were involved in hard and dangerous labour
  • 81% of respondents could not attend school on time and 13% were prevented from attending school by their families
  • 40% of respondents said they experienced abuse and threats at work, while 16% faced sexual harassment.
  • 61% of respondents work in unhealthy and dangerous environments, with some experiencing injuries, factures and even the loss of limbs
  • 21% of respondents work to pay off the debts of their parents.

Graphic: Dr Sima Samar releasing the report at a news conference


Releasing the report at a media conference in Kabul, Commission Chairperson Dr Sima Samar said child labourers were deprived of their education, deprived of opportunities for recreation and could be separated from their families.

Some children were also at risk of human trafficking, Dr Samar noted.

The Commission's report included recommendations to the strengthen the economic sector and improve family incomes, in order to reduce the number of children entering the labour market; to establish a special fund to help children access education and health services and improve their nutrition; and to develop a national strategy to combat child labour.

Date: 4 April 2018

Source: Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission


Image credits

  1. Young boy carrying a heavy sack on his back - Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
  2. Dr Sima Samar releasing the report at a news conference - Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission