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Child peddlers say unable to continue education

Child peddlers say unable to continue education

Nov 07, 2016 - 20:40

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A number of children whose fathers have gone abroad in search of better job opportunities have become street peddlers and abandoned their studies.

Though child hawking is prohibited under Afghanistaninfo-icon’s and international laws, such children can be seen selling goods on Kabul streets.  

When asked, the children said their families’ bad economical situation pushed them into peddling.

Shoaib, whose father migrated to Iran for work, sells plastic bags in markets in the Lycee-i-Maryam area.

The 12-year-old said his family’s weak economic situation forced him into work. The boy said his father sent 5,000 afghanis every month, but it was insufficient.

Shoaib, a student of 5th grade, said because of his peddling he was unable to continue his studies.

Another child, Suhrab, 13, who collects papers along with his two brothers on streets and roads in Kabul city, said his father was also in Iran.

He said collecting papers from streets and selling them did not allow him to give time to study and achieve good position in school.

Zubaida Akbar, Save the children’s office spokesman, said currently 39 percent of Afghanistan’s population lived under the poverty line and many families relied on their children’s earnings.  

She said the child peddlers faced different challenges during street-to-street movement to sell goods. She promised they would support children’s rights and were making all-out efforts to assist children with regard to educationinfo-icon.

Wasel Noor Mohmand, labour department head at the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) said: “According to a 1393 solar yearinfo-icon’s survey, 2.7 million children are involved in labor, including 1.2 million hard labor.” He said the number of male children peddling in the capital city was more than girls.

He said in 1394 and 1395 years, professional job opportunities were created for 84,000 working children but unfortunately many children were still busy selling goods on roads.  

The MoLSAMD in the year 2011 issued and implemented a strategy prohibiting children from working and peddling on roads.

Mohmand said a draft law for supporting children’s rights had also been formulated and sent to the parliament. He hoped the law would soon be approved by the National Assembly.


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