Afghan Children Face Uncertain Future
Instead of schooling, Afghanistan's children have to take on the responsibility of earning money for their families.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_World Children’s Day is celebrated annually on November 20. However, unlike children in other parts of the world, Afghan children are going through difficult times. Afghanistan’s children have become more vulnerable under Taliban rule. The unemployment and the restrictions imposed by the international community on the government have darkened the lives of children in Afghanistan.
While the children’s conditions in Afghanistan have long been worrying, the fabric of Afghan families is such that any new crisis threatens the lives of children first and foremost. For example, after the head of the family becomes unemployed and has no income, in the first phase, children’s access to education and proper nutrition becomes limited. If families are in poor financial condition, they send their children to work in the streets. Under complicated circumstances, they eventually become interested in the early marriage of daughters and even the sale of their children. Since the birth rate in Afghanistan is not controlled, the families in Afghanistan pay less attention to the ideal living conditions of their children and their future when giving birth.
There have been many cases in recent days highlighting the plight of children in Afghanistan. Some of the challenges include closing schools for millions of girls, increasing the number of working children in cities, selling them due to poor economic conditions, and their recruitment by armed groups. The poor situation of children has led Afghanistan to use black color instead of blue on its social pages, unlike in previous years. According to the organization, celebrating World Children’s Day in Afghanistan is difficult given the current situation.
The statistics on the situation of Afghanistan’s children are shocking. Currently, 14 million Afghan children do not have access to enough food. One million of them are at risk of malnutrition. Aside from the estimated four million girls who are not allowed to go to school, about four million more children do not have access to education. These are not the only vulnerabilities of children. Afghanistan’s Children are currently battling measles as well as . This is at a time when, according to the World Health Organization, Afghanistan will experience a significant health crisis.
Given the situation, Afghan children’s future looks bleak. Instead of schooling, they have to take on the responsibility of earning money for their families. War and poverty have prevented these children from living a comfortable life. Efforts have been made over the past two decades by various organizations to improve the situation of Afghan children. However, these efforts have not yielded acceptable results yet.
As UNICEF states, solving children’s problems should be at the heart of international efforts to address Afghanistan’s challenges. These efforts need to be made in a variety of areas. The first step is to make Afghan citizens aware of their responsibilities to children. Most Afghan families are unaware of their children’s rights. For this reason, they do not pay attention to their responsibilities when having children, and this negligence has harmful consequences for children.
The second case is the indifference of governments to children. Ashraf Ghani’s government did not have a plan to improve the lives of children. The Taliban, now in power, have faced children with the most difficult challenge in 20 years, apart from having no plans to improve the situation. Most kindergartens are closed to children. About half of them do not currently have access to education. Eventually, increasing poverty has pushed these children into markets and hard work. The Taliban must pay attention to their responsibilities to these children. The future of Afghanistan depends on these children, and any negligence towards their fate will face challenges for the country.
Finally, the international community and children’s rights advocates must seize every opportunity to improve the situation of Afghan children. They need to act directly in the current situation. If the plight of Afghanistan’s children continues, their future will undoubtedly be dark, and this darkness will cast a shadow on Afghanistan’s future. The situation of Afghan children needs to change, using all means and tools.