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Vulnerable children complain of government’s unconcern

Vulnerable children complain of government’s unconcern

Oct 26, 2016 - 15:31

CHARIKARinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Over 2,000 vulnerable children have been identified in Charikar, the provincial capital, and four districts of central Parwan province.

Although authorities have provided them some assistance, no survey has been conducted in the remaining five districts to ascertain the number of kids at risk.

The government has divided vulnerable children in 23 categories, including those living on roads, the sick, the ones exposed to smuggling threats, child soldiers, the addicts, and victims of sexual assaults and forced marriage.

Provincial officials claimtaking steps to help children at risk, but some kids complain of receiving no assistance from the authorities. Thirty-three percent of these children are said to be girls.

Experts believe governmentalmeasures for the rehabilitation of these children are far from satisfactory and more work needs to be done in this regard. 

Abdul Rab Rahman Far, a senior official at the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled (MLSAMD), told Pajhwok Afghan News 2,067 children faced with danger had been identified.

The Children Safety Brach at the ministry identified them in the first six months of the current solar yearinfo-icon in Charikar and Salang, Bagram, Syedkhel and Siah Gird districts.

Among the registered children, 640 are selling small items on streets, 362 begging, 227 involved in hard labour, 228 working in violation of the law 249 out of school. Another 78 have sustained injures in bombs and 119 are addicted to drugs.

Sixty-eight were childrenwere forced into underage marriag, 13 faced sexual assaults and 40 others abused.In addition, 11 children faced physical torture, 12 were kidnapped, 16 are disabled, three continueto be victims of sexual abuse and one was smuggled.

Far said children facing danger could not be identified in Koh-i-Safi, Shikh Ali, SurkhParsa, Shinwar and JabalusSaraj districts due to lack of resources and other impediments.

He hoped the ministry’s Children Safety Branches would be established in the remaining districtsand children at risk identified. Far acknowledged children who faced physical or mental torture required more help and assistance.


Faridoon, 15, is a resident of Charamgari locality. Pale and frail, he has become a drug addict because he lived with friends with a similar problem.He left school in 4th class, buying heroin with money that he earns from selling vegetables. Some people brand him as addict, a taunt that painshim beyond description.

Faridoon said he was admitted to a rehabilitation centre two times but was unable to come out of addiction. Some children at risk asked the government for help, grumbling they had been given no assistance.

Mohammad Zarif, 8, belongs to Charikar.Poor economic condition has pushed him into seeking alms. “My father tells me to work. I’m selling vegetable and fruits,” he remarked.

He complained most people insulted him and that he could hardly earn 40 to 50 afghanis a day. He asked the government to help him get out of the current situation.

Samiullah, 11, is a resident of the MusomMinaraarea of JabalusSaraj district, selling eggs in the local bazaar. His mother died two years back in a landmine blast, forcing him to quit school in the 2nd class and work for his survival.

Saleema, 9, who begs in Charikar bazaar, says her father died five years ago. Her mother is also begging in the main bazaar of the provincial capital to keep her body and soul together.

Government achievements

Qudratullah Reyazat, head of the MLSAMD Children Safety Department, said the ministry was making all-out efforts to identify vulnerable kids.

A committee has been constituted, including members of MLSAMD, police, Educationinfo-icon Ministry, judiciary, civil societyinfo-icon and Red Crescent Society, to reach out to children at risk.

He said each of the orgnisations mentioned played its part in addressing the problems of children. For example, he said, if a child was unable to attend school,the Education Ministry would be responsible for his/her admission.

As many as 250 children, involved in hard labour, have been admitted to school and reunited with families with the Help of Womeninfo-icon for Women. He said some of the children, with heart problems, had been sent abroad for treatment with the help of Red Crescent Society and many drug addicted children rehabilitated.

Inadequate services

Nasratullah Elahi, a private university teacher in Charikar, said no substantial work had been done by the authorities to help the children at risk. Government and foreign NGOs should put more resources and work harder to protect children.

He expressed concern over the number of children faced with danger and said many others had not been identified. The issue danger is not restricted to Parwan province, as the situation is even worse in other parts of the country.

Government responsibility

Afghanistaninfo-icon joined the UN convention for children’s rights in 1994 and enacted laws regarding children’s protection. Article 32 of the UN convention says: “Countries that sign the convention are required to recognise children’s rights against all kinds of works that leave a negative impact on their mental and physical growth.”

According to other articles of the convention, parents are responsible for the fair growth of children and the governments were also duty-bound to help parents in upbringing their children in a wholesome manner.

Article 49 of the constitution says that children should not be forces to work. Article 13 says children under 18 years of age had are prevented from all kinds of hard work that could impact negatively their mental and physical growth.



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