Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Unemployment Crises

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Unemployment Crises

Based on various studies the rate of unemployment has been increasing in few last years in Afghanistan. The National Union of Afghanistan Workers roughly estimated that 60% of eligible workers in the country are suffering from unemployment issue. the latest release of Democracy International shows that 82% of the youths are suffering from joblessness. Comparing to 2013 and 2014, when the rate of unemployment was nearly 2 million eligible workers it upturned to more than 3 million in 2017. whereas, it is expected that four hundred thousand young workers are newly added to existing crisis by each year.
Moreover, some experts divulge a series of undebated dimensions of the issue such as: job insecurity, lack of rule of law, exploitations, systematic unemployment - against certain gender or tribe - and more importantly hidden unemployment which means, there are countless employees or self-employees who have extremely low income or even zero income. Sometimes tens of them are busy in a small business while few of them are able to do it effectively. Thus, the employer can dismiss employees whenever they wish and often they do not have any written contract to define the mutual responsibilities. These show that the depth of crisis is beyond the mentioned figure or what usually discussed in the media.
The other problem is related to new job seekers; they have the minimum chance for employment due to several reasons: First they do not have required skills and standard eligibility due to low quality education in university of the country. Secondly, companies usually hire people who already have jobs as people with jobs usually socialize in similar places and referrals increase their chances of getting new jobs. This really adds to the disappointment of unemployed people. Crime rates rise as people are unable to meet their needs and divorce rates often rise because people cannot solve their financial problems. In some cases, because of the unemployment the youths delay their marriage age which is also a prominent social problem. Unemployment is associated with elevated rates of mental and physical health problems. It increases morbidity and mortality rates, and can cause detrimental changes in family relationships and in the psychological well-being of families. Scientific studies have already pointed out that unemployment can contribute to increased rates of suicide and reduced life expectancy. Unemployment is a greater motivator to illegal and unauthorized means to receive benefits.
Unemployment has a progressive effect on the rise of violence and economic instability in Afghanistan.Most Afghansbelieve that unemployment is the main cause of continuous insurgency in the country. There are many examples that young unemployed Afghans joined the anti-government armed groups; In fact, they are not joining the extremists or insurgents to follow their ideology, and sometimes they are against their ideology but they joined them to earn money to buy a loaf of bread for themselves and for their families.
It is obvious that the killing of insurgents has not weaken them; they seem to be stronger and the major reason can be the high rate of unemployment in country, which leads more of our unemployed youths to join the anti-government insurgent groups. Unemployed teens are used as suicide attackers, battle forces, or laborers for implanting Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and in some provinces unemployment has also led people to grow opium, poppy, and others are encouraged to join the extremist groups.
In brief, no strategy will succeed unless create millions of more jobs as president pledged during his election campaign. Imprisonment of poverty criminals is not a real solution to solve the problem of crime; it does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.
The other solution is to understand that unemployment lies in active support of private sectors, national companies and domestic products. Government is responsible to pave the way for multi-lateral national and international trades to create jobs and ensure economic stability. The easier to run businesses, the easier to create more jobs in a functioning economy: let’s simplify the process of registering new startups and international companies in Afghanistan. let’s first invest in secure provinces. The old irrational practice has to be transformed into an efficient, technological and business friendly process that takes hours rather than days. Entrepreneurs and private sectors can create jobs and transition Afghanistan from aid dependency into self-sustainability. The government has to make doing business easy, support the private sector and not try to do business. The governments of the world are not good at doing business and should stay out. The Afghan government must ensure security, fight corruption and remove the barriers for private sector to deliver real value and change.
The final solution is to train and send job seekers to foreign labor market who are thirsty for labor force. There are many nations in the region who earn milliards by sending their skilled workers to other countries through mutual state protocol. for instance, India annually make 86 milliard dollar, Indonesia 46 milliard dollar and Philippine 12 milliard dollar. But due to lack of such agreement, millions of Afghan workers are suffering from working in illegal labor markets. Sometimes they are not paid while cannot raise their voice due to lack of that formal contract. As Afghans are more hard working and reliable, they can be easily attracted if our government seriously look for such market.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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