Mon, December 20, 2010
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Child labour in Afghanistan

2010-12-20 09:21:52 GMT2010-12-20 17:21:52 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

After years of war, poverty, and widespread unemployment child labour is rife in Afghanistan.

Abdul Wahab is building a truck part with a focus rare for an 11-year-old.

He is one of at least a million children who work in a huge underage labour market in Afghanistan, caused by decades of war and poverty.

War has left many children without a father, and they are now the main breadwinners for their families.

It is illegal to work under the age of fourteen, but the law is routinely flouted.

Thirteen-year-old Sayed Hammed works in a mechanic's shop to support his family, leaving little time for education.

(SOUNDBITE) (Dari) 13-YEAR-OLD SAYED HAMEED SAYING:

"I have to work here because my father is not able to work, I go to school every second day because there is a lot of work pressure is on me."

The problem is bigger than economics says Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commissioner Nader Nadery.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AFGHANISTAN INDEPENDENT HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER, NADER NADERY SAYING:

"Most of these kids would be easy recruited by crime groups as we have seen also kids also been recruited by the terrorist groups as suicide bombers so they will become much more of security and social problem in terms of criminal increasing in the rate of crimes and they being easily recruited by the organize crime groups."

For many Afghan children shouldering adult responsibilities, the time to learn and the time to play is passing quickly by.

Maryam Ishani, Reuters.

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