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Poverty pushes some Baghlan children into hard labour

Poverty pushes some Baghlan children into hard labour

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28 May 2024 - 10:58
Poverty pushes some Baghlan children into hard labour
author avatar
28 May 2024 - 10:58

PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): A number of children in the capital of northern Baghlan province say they are forced into hard labour and deprived of education.

They say poverty has compelled them to engage in hard labour, dashing their hopes for a bright future.

Sifatullah, 10, a  scrap scavenger in Pul-i-Khumri, said: “Every morning, I come to the city with my father to rummage through garbage. My father sometimes finds work, but often goes without work. I have to earn to buy bread.”

A first grader, Sifatullah said poverty had forced him to walk to the city for collecting garbage instead of going to school.

Farsheed, 15, another child working in a metal workshop, said he was a student of 7th class. But instead of attending lessons daily, he is required to earn money.

He said his dream was get higher education, but he had to work because of poverty and unemployment.

Scavenging in another corner of Pul-i-Khumri, Sadaqat, 16, has a similar tale to tell. He and his father are responsible for feeding a family of nine. He has no option but to compromise education.

Carrying people’s luggage from one part of the city to another along with his father, Sadaqat urged the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and donor agencies to support them so that he could continue his studies.

Director of Work and Social Affairs Qari Nasratullah Parsa told Pajhwok Afghan News a survey by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) unveiled that around 14,000 children in Baghlan were engaged in hard labour.

The official said he had drawn up a plan for extending financial support to child labourers and get them enrolled in school.

The director recalled he had created a class for 50 child labourers last year, an initiative that was financially supported by an organisation for only six months.

According to him, the department is striving to reactivate the class so that education can be imparted to such children.

sa/mud

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