‘2.3m school age children engage in hard labor’

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) says 2.3 million children are engaged in hard labor instead of going school.

Minister Faizullah Zaki expressed these views at a press conference regarding the launch of national policy on child labor at GMIC here.

He said subjecting children to work was a crime in line with Afghanistan’s Constitution, labor law, social support law and international conventions.

He said according to the national strategy and commitments at the Geneva Conference, the issue of child labor should end by 2025 and overall child work should end by 2030 nationwide. The national child labor policy was being worked out since 2016 with a $62.4 million support from USAID and the British government, he said, adding the policy would be implemented until 2030.

Zaki said the conflict, poverty, lack of awareness among families about their children’s rights and drawbacks of not sending them to school were among factors which force children to discharge hard work.

He said peace, legal action against individuals misusing children, assistance with less fortunate families and improving economic conditions were part of the national policy to help end child labor in the country.

Mansour Khaled, a representative of the International Labour Organisation, said national child labor policies starting in 2016 in 11 countries were being supported by the British government. He said the policy in Afghanistan start in April and continue till 2030.

Marouf Qaderi, a member of the Afghanistan Labour Union, welcomed the national policy on child labour, which he said affected economy and caused poverty. (Pajhwok)