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IRIN - Report Afghanistan-Child Servitude, Marriage Resemble Modern-day Slavery

IRIN - Report Afghanistan-Child Servitude, Marriage Resemble Modern-day Slavery

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Published by: bgeller4936 on Jan 17, 2010
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12/12/2012

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10-01-16 12:02 AMIRIN - Print ReportPage 1 of 3http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportId=82742
Photo:Salih/IRIN Child slavery and debt bondage practices are growing in Afghanistan, but are often disguised as marriage, labour orfamily affairs
humanitarian news and analysis
a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
AFGHANISTAN: Child servitude, marriage resemble modern-day slavery
SHARANA
,
PAKTIKA
 
PROVINCE
, 4
February
2009 (
IRIN
) -
Haleem
,
aged
 
nine
,
is
 
a
 
full
-
time
 
servant
 
for
 
US
$60
amonth
 
at
 
Abdul
 
Malik
 
Khan
s
 
house
 
in
 
Zherok
 
District
,
Paktika
 
Province
,
southeastern
 
Afghanistan
.
His
 
tasksrange
 
from
 
cleaning
,
washing
,
serving
 
tea
 
and
 
baby
-
sitting
 
to
 
night
 
patrols
 
and
 
gate
-
keeping
.
Listen to the audio report in Dari
Both
 
Haleem
s
 
father
 
and
 
his
 
master
 
say
 
childservants
 
are
 
not
 
at
 
risk
 
of 
 
sexual
 
abuse
,
but
 
the
 
realitycould
 
be
 
different
.
I
 
offered
 
my
 
son
 
for
 
servitude
 
for
 
the
 
survival
 
of 
 
mywhole
 
family
,”
said
 
Haleem
s
 
father
 
who
 
declined
 
tobe
 
identified
.
His
 
destitute
 
family
 
lives
 
in
 
a
 
mud
 
hut
3
km
 
from
 
Malik
 
Khan
s
 
house
.
On
 
the
 
phone
,
Khan
 
declined
 
to
 
comment
 
on
 
his
 
young
 
servant
s
 
working
 
and
 
livingconditions
,
saying
 
 journalists
 
only
 
turn
trivial
 
and
 
unimportant
 
issues
 
into
 
a
 
bigproblem
”.
In
 
Afghanistan
,
particularly
 
in
 
poor
 
rural
 
communities
,
child
 
slavery
 
and
 
debt
 
bondagepractices
 
are
 
growing
,
but
 
are
 
often
 
disguised
 
as
 
marriage
,
labour
 
or
 
family
 
affairs
 
notrequiring
 
state
 
intervention
.
Extreme
 
poverty
,
lack
 
of 
 
awareness
 
about
 
child
 
rights
,
weak
 
law
 
enforcement
 
and
 
strongconservative
 
traditions
 
are
 
among
 
the
 
problems
 
which
 
have
 
pushed
 
many
 
minors
-
boysand
 
girls
-
into
 
situations
 
of 
 
peonage
,
child
 
rights
 
activists
 
say
.
These
 
practices
-
the
 
selling
 
of 
 
children
 
and
 
servitude
-
have
 
the
 
very
 
characteristics
 
of modern
 
slavery
 
which
 
have
 
been
 
overlooked
 
by
 
the
 
government
 
and
 
other
 
actors
,”
saidAjmal
 
Samadi
,
an
 
analyst
 
of 
 
the
 
Afghanistan
 
Rights
 
Monitor
(
ARM
),
a
 
local
 
rightswatchdog
.
Loan
 
brides
 
Destitute
 
parents
 
sometimes
 
also
 
offer
 
their
 
youngdaughters
 
as
loan
 
brides
in
 
order
 
to
 
pay
 
off 
 
loans
,
settle
 
family
 
or
 
tribal
 
feuds
 
and
 
achieve
 
other
 
socialand
 
economic
 
benefits
.
 
10-01-16 12:02 AMIRIN - Print ReportPage 2 of 3http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportId=82742
Photo:Manoocher Deghati/IRIN Some destitute parents offer their young daughtersas “loan brides” in order to pay off loans, settlefamily or tribal feudsPhoto:Salih/IRIN Children lack legal support and social protectionservices in Afghanistan
Drug
 
smugglers
 
that
 
pay
 
poor
 
farmers
 
in
 
advance
 
foropium
 
production
,
often
 
demand
 
young brides
 
whenfarmers
 
fail
 
to
 
produce
 
opium
 
and
 
lack
 
other
 
meansto
 
repay
 
their
 
loans
.
According
 
to
 
the
 
UN
 
Office
 
on
 
Drugs
 
and
 
Crime
(
UNODC
),
Afghanistan
 
produces
 
over
90
percent
 
of 
 
the
 
world
s
 
heroin
,
generating
 
an
 
illiciteconomy
 
worth
 
over
 
US
$4
billion
 
a
 
year
.
In
 
the
 
western
 
province
 
of 
 
Herat
,
the
 
department
 
of 
 
women
s
 
affairs
 
and
 
a
 
local
 
rightswatchdog
 
said
 
more
 
than
150
cases
 
of 
 
the
 
selling
 
of 
 
children
,
especially
 
girls
,
werereported
 
in
2008.
There
 
is
 
no
 
law
 
to
 
prevent
 
child
 
marriage
 
and
 
child
 
sale
,”
Sima
 
Shir
 
Mohammadi
,
director
 
of 
 
a
 
women
s
 
rights
 
NGO
 
in
 
Herat
 
Province
,
told
 
IRIN
,
adding
 
that
 
the
 
practicewas
inhumane
and
 
on
 
the
 
rise
”.
The
 
 judicial
 
system
 
and
 
courts
 
are
 
notoriously
 
corrupt
 
and
 
biased
.
People
 
do
 
not
 
dare
 
toseek
 
 justice
 
through
 
them
,”
said
 
ARM
s
 
Samadi
.
Domestic
 
violence
 
Children
 
who
 
experience
 
forced
 
marriage
 
andservitude
 
often
 
suffer
 
physical
,
sexual
 
and
 
mentalviolence
,
experts
 
say
.
Research
 
conducted
 
by
 
the
 
Afghanistan
 
IndependentHuman
 
Rights
 
Commission
 
has
 
also
 
indicatedwidespread
 
domestic
 
violence
 
against
 
children
 
andtheir
 
inability
 
to
 
access
 
protection
 
services
.
They
[
child
 
victims
]
are
 
usually
 
treated
 
as
 
slaves
 
andre
-
sellable
 
items
,”
said
 
Shir
 
Mohammadi
,
adding
 
thatthere
 
was
 
a
 
lack
 
of 
 
legal
 
and
 
social
 
protection
 
andsupport
 
for
 
victims
.
Afghanistan
 
has
 
one
 
of 
 
the
 
highest
 
infant
 
and
 
maternal
 
mortality
 
rates
 
in
 
the
 
world
 
andchild
 
marriage
(
early
 
pregnancy
),
multiple
 
and
 
short
-
spaced
 
pregnancies
 
and
 
lack
 
of access
 
to
 
basic
 
health
 
care
 
are
 
the
 
main
 
contributing
 
factors
,
according
 
to
 
the
 
UNChildren
s
 
Fund
 
and
 
other
 
aid
 
bodies
.
Officials
 
in
 
the
 
Ministry
 
of 
 
Women
s
 
Affairs
 
said
 
every
 
month
 
they
 
verify
 
dozens
 
of 
 
casesof 
 
serious
 
domestic
 
violence
 
against
 
young
 
women
.
Young
 
girls
 
who
 
experience
 
forced
 
marriage
,
sale
 
and
 
similar
 
predicaments
 
often
 
lead
 
adifficult
 
life
 
and
 
some
 
of 
 
them
 
seek
 
release
 
through
 
self-immolation and suicide
.

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