Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Children Highly Vulnerable in Afghanistan

The circumstance in Afghanistan have not been very kind to the weaker strata; particularly the children. Therefore, it can be observed that children have to go through myriads of problems in the society. They definitely have the potential to be the guardians of future of the country and play constructive role in the society, unfortunately, they are not provided enough opportunities to do so. The societies that have intentions to change their future, pay special attention to the children; Afghan society that needs to do something extraordinary regarding its future has almost neglected the children, which has resulted in their pathetic conditions and will ultimately influence the future of the society as a whole.
Children face different sorts of problems in different parts of country and the country lacks any functional mechanism to defend the rights of children. Recently, United Nations Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, said that Afghanistan is not addressing children’s problems adequately and raised concerns over the lack of institutions addressing children’s problems. She also said that the closure of schools in insecure parts of Afghanistan is a worry, “We have schools that are closed because they are under threat, we have girls that are threatened because they would like to go to school.”
Deprived of basic education, the children fail to get any opportunity of changing their fate. They get caught in the vicious circle of child labor. Child labors are exposed to crimes and maltreatment to a risky extent, especially the ones who are employed by shop-owners, mechanics and small firms. They are even put to violent treatment by their employers on pity matters. Further, another concerning factor regarding the plight of the children in Afghanistan is the growing number of child beggars. Families, stricken with intense poverty, do not hesitate even to send their children for begging. Apart from that, there are professional beggars who utilize the helpless children for the begging purposes. The children are even abducted for the same purpose. The phenomenon of violence against children is multifaceted. It involves recruitment of children by armed forces and armed groups.
Taliban have never lost any opportunity of recruiting children among their ranks. They use them because they are easy to recruit and exploit. They are conditioned easily and then used for different purposes, among which suicide bombing is the most notable one.
Afghan security forces, in the past, had recruited children among their ranks because of the lack of human resource. Now, that has been controlled to a large extent and there are hopes that the practice will be abolished completely.
Recruitment of the children by Taliban militants basically result in violence against children and their abuse. The attitude of a trained militant clearly depicts the fact that the training sessions in their training camps do involve severe kind of violence and maltreatment. Another type of violence includes the killing and maiming of the children because of the conflict-related violence.
This also includes accidental killings or injuries by the national and international security forces, which, though relatively are much lower than the ones committed by the terrorists. Unfortunately, most of the deaths or injuries in this regard have been the result of the violent attacks of the terrorists on schools and hospitals. Such attacks do not only take precious lives but tend to inflict fear among parents and children regarding attending schools.
Apart from insecurity and terrorism, there are certain other issues of violence against children that are carried out by the society as a whole and for that the habitual inconsideration and sick mentality of the common men are responsible.
Many children, because of improper birth or because of lack of health facilities and insufficient nutrition either die in the very beginning of their lives or able to drag on their lives with certain physical deformities and serious diseases.
Most of the children of the society are not able to have access to education, either because of the financial problems or the traditional hatred of the parents for modern schooling system. The girls in this regard suffer even to more extreme levels. Moreover, the children who do not get a chance to be admitted in school are left at the mercy of the social evils.
The security of the children against all sort of violence, their proper nourishment and their character development are the most important considerations to contemplate on, if the government is really serious to safeguard the rights of the children. The same children are going to be the builders of future; their proper care should be ascertained through every possible means. Apart from the government the members of the society can also play a tremendous role in diminishing violence against the children and uplifting their morale.