Afghan children are a vulnerable group that have been affected by cycle of violence in the country. Save The Children, an aid agency, stated today, October 07 that over 12,500 children were killed between 2015 and 2018. The aid agency called on nation to safeguard the children—the country’s most vulnerable and yet underestimated group.
The war-torn Afghanistan with an estimated 35 million population is a country that is dependent on foreign aid. Although in the last 18 years the international community poured billions of dollars, little have been done for millions of Afghan children who are open to various risks.
“It’s time to stop this war on children. If international humanitarian laws are breached children suffer from it, there needs to be an independent investigation with the aim of holding perpetrators to account. The international community must not forget these children, who are in dire need of mental health support and education,” said Onno Van Manen, country director of Save the Children in Afghanistan.
Manen’s remarks come while complex war, attacks by the Taliban insurgents, and counterinsurgency air strikes have left high toll of civilian causality in the country.
“This day marks not one, but several generations losing out on their childhood. For the sake of all Afghan children and the future of Afghanistan, the warring parties must do everything in their power to stop killing and maiming children during this terrible conflict and adhere to international laws and standards. That includes making sure schools and hospitals are not targets,” the country director of Save The Children underlined.
Report by Save The Children suggests that over 12,500 children were killed or injured in the violence between 2015 and 2018. As many as 274 children were recruited by the insurgent group.
Over 3.7 million Afghan children have no access to primary education
School facilities are prime target of the insurgent Taliban in some provinces of the country. The hardline field commanders of the Taliban are convinced that schooling is a western style of education which misleads Muslim children. Many schools in Afghanistan are closed. In 2018, 700 more schools have remained closed. According to Save The Children, more than 3.7 Afghan children have no access to primary education.
The devastating effect of war have traumatized many children and adults in the country, said Van Manen.
Persistent poverty have added to the problem. Many Afghan children are forced to perform child labor in cities and provinces where they are subject to exploitation and sexual harassment.
A latest report suggests that 50 percent of Afghanistan’s population live below poverty line. With poverty rate increasing in this war-torn country, the children become more vulnerable as most parents find no way but to send their children to win bread.