Child labor is a tragic phenomenon in Afghanistan. Over 30 percent of Afghan children are part of the work force responsible to feed their families. According to the Head of the Euro pean Delegation, these children are working in every industry under very harsh and poor conditions. He said the European Union has spent 15 million Euros and additional 16 million Euros will be used before 2013 to help children's social protection.
The World Day Against Child Labor is tomorrow on June 12. This shocking factual statement of the EU Delegation head brings our notice to the downtrodden situation. Children have been a neglected segment of the society, and the neediest one. Afghan children have been one of the worst affected segments of our conflicted society in the past and due to the cumbersome situation today.
It's not only in the physically challenging labor work, but also street wandering children and beggars. A large number of beggars in Kabul are children. The exact number is not known, but it's around 4000 children, including girls. The Government has not been doing satisfactorily enough to develop the deplorable condition of children. There have been several claims by the Government about steps and programs to help the begging children of Kabul and provide them with education, but we have witnessed the increasing number of these street children who are begging or working.
As part of EU's programs, about 50,000 Afghan children have access to education, of whom 4000 are workers. They have also a four-year program called the Child Rights Consortium III providing safe environment for children for street and working.
The international community, development organizations and the Government should pay some attention to the laboring and begging of children. But our Government has not even any official program in any ministry to celebrate this day and spread the word on this.