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Afghanistan: A Four-Province Study in Kabul, Kandahar, Nangarhar, and Balkh


In 2006, OCFT commissioned ICF to conduct a four-province survey in Afghanistan on child labor. ICF and its partner organization in Afghanistan, the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic and Opinion Research (ACSOR-Surveys), conducted data collection on child labor in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2007. The specific objective of this research was to collect, describe, and analyze data on the characteristics, nature, incidence, and welfare implications, of child work in Afghanistan. The purpose of the study was to raise awareness about the issue of child labor in Afghanistan and to inform current and future child labor policy and technical assistance efforts of OCFT.

A nationwide survey was conducted to gather data on selected household and child-specific demographic and socioeconomic variables. In addition, a more detailed survey was conducted in four provinces: Kabul, Kandahar, Nangarhar, and Balkh, and four sectors: agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and selling. Data collection focused on children aged 5 to 17 and included information related to conditions of work, entry points into work, characteristics of families, educational status, and services designed to assist working children.

The study provides statistically valid information at national and provincial levels on issues concerning child work, child labor, and general characteristics of working children. The study combined the use of quantitative and qualitative techniques and consisted of four phases of data collection: a) background research, including collection of background materials and key informant interviews; b) 2,096 nationwide household surveys; c) 1,165 household surveys and 641 working children surveys in the four-provinces; and d) in depth interviews with 200 working children in four sectors. The study found that nationally, 24.2 percent of children aged 5 to 17 worked in the week preceding the survey, and the total number of children working in Afghanistan was estimated to be 2.27 million.

For more information on ILAB's work in Afghanistan, please visit http://www.dol.gov/ilab/map/countries/afghanistan.htm.