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Exploitation of women in orphanages: A form of Trafficking in Persons

Security & Crime




Exploitation of women in orphanages: A form of Trafficking in Persons

May 16, 2017 - 23:41

Pajhwok( Kabulinfo-icon):Besides children, teachers at orphanages are also vulnerable to sexual abuse. however, for the fear and terror that rules in these institutions, they refrain from telling the truth which is an explicit form of human trafficking

One of the reasons of concealing the fact is that the teachers and some orphan children who have lost their parents and have no other place to live are afraid of being expelled from the orphanage and would have to be on the streets, however, one member of Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon or Lower House exposed this issue.

Girls subjected to sexual exploitation at Allauddin Orphanage: Naheed Farid

Naheed Farid, a member of the lower house recently revealed that "Young orphaned girls are being subjected to sexual exploitation at  Allauddin Orphanage in Kabul."

The female lawmaker from western Herat province, Naheed Farid, on Monday told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Wolesi Jirga was aware of an ongoing hunger strike by children at the Allauddin Orphanage in Kabul.

She said the striking children had alleged moral and financial corruption at the facility.

The lawmaker said after she raised the issue on the assembly floor as some victims had called for an investigation.

She said that there have been many concerns raised by the girls claiming the apathy shown by the  orphanage administration towards their solution.

“Teachers at orphanages too face a lot of problems, they face sexual harassment, but they stay silent.”

She said the victims could not openly talk to a Wolesi Jirga delegation tasked with investigating the matter.

It’s a plot being hatched by Wolesi Jirga: Labor and Social Affairs Ministry

Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled spokesman, Abdul Fatah Eshrat Ahmadzai, vehemently rejected the lawmaker’s claims as a conspiracy.

He said the Wolesi Jirga delegation, tasked with investigating the issue, did not find anything that could substantiate Naheed Farid’s allegations.

He said the ministry did not appoint a delegation to investigate the matter after the investigation by the Wolesi Jirga delegation because the ministry was aware of the situation.

According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the country has 64 public and private facilities in which 11,810 children are accommodated out of which the boys number 8896 while the rest are girls.

No one is permitted  to enter orphanages: MoLSAMD

Pajhwok Afghan News reporter tried to enter some of the facilities, but permission was not granted.

The labor and social affairs ministry has issued an office order to the directorate of orphanages, directing them to not permit entry to anyone to enter the facilities without formal permission of the ministry, describing the facilities a sensitive place which needs constant vigilance and monitoring by the ministry officials.

Ministry of Womeninfo-icon Affairs denies claims of sexual harassment

Although there are claims of sexual harassment of women at the government-run shelter homes, but the Ministry of Women’s Affairs denies the charge.

Women’s Safe Homes director at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Nazia Faizi, told Pajhwok that the homes were free from such things.

“A majority of the women kept in these facilities are those who were given in marriages to settle disputes between families,” she said.

She said the females at the safe homes had escaped from forced marriages and other forms of domestic violence.

She said the females had been brought to the safe homes by the human rights commission, the women’s affairs ministry and police who are extended support after due completion of legal process.

She said women at the safe homes are extended facilities such as accommodation, healthinfo-icon care, medicine, educationinfo-icon, counseling and defence lawyers if needed.

Currently six such facilities are operational in Kabul province and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs has always tried to improve condition of the orphanages.

Investigation found some evidence of atrocities: Attorney General Office (AGO)

AGO spokesman Jamshid Rasooli told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Presidential Palace had lately issued an order to look into the claimed treatment of children and teachers in the orphanages.

He said the AGO had appointed a delegation in line with the presidential order and the delegation had obtained some evidence that warranted legal action against the perpetrators.

However, he did not go into details, but said the AGO was working on the issue and the outcome of their investigation would be shared with the media.

As a direct consequence of the armed conflicts in Afghanistaninfo-icon,  there are thousands of orphans in the country, some of whom find their way to orphanages.  While the orphanage is considered safe haven where they can begin a new life based on peace, love and respect, however, according to 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report children in orphanages are also particularly vulnerable and were sometimes subjected to trafficking. 

Also, Article three of Afghanistan's Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons (TiP) and Human Smuggling describes TiP as recruitment, transfer, transport, harbor or receive a person for the purpose of exploitation, using the means threat or use of force or other types of coercion, abuse of power, abuse of vulnerability or need, Giving or receiving payment or benefit to gain the consent of the victim or a person having control over the victim. Taking position of a child for the purpose of exploitation constitutes trafficking in persons even if the above mentioned means are not used.


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