Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Afghanistan

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Afghanistan

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2017, Afghanistan made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The President signed a new Penal Code, which explicitly prohibits and sets penalties for bacha bazi–a practice involving exploiting boys, often through threats or violence, for social and sexual entertainment. The High Commission for Combating Crimes of Abduction and Human Trafficking carried out 210 awareness-raising campaigns. In addition, the government also rescued nearly 40 children from a madrassa where they were receiving military training from the Taliban. However, children in Afghanistan are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in armed conflict and forced labor in the production of bricks. Bacha bazi exists in all provinces of the country, and boys who are victims of this practice are often treated as criminals rather than as victims. Afghanistan’s Labor Inspectorate is not authorized to impose penalties for child labor violations, and the government lacks sufficient programs to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

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Children in Afghanistan engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in armed conflict and the forced production of bricks. (1; 2; 3; 4) Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Afghanistan. Data on some of these indicators are not available from the sources used in this report.

Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

 

Children

Age

Percent

 

Working (% and population)

5 to 14

7.5 (673,949)

 

Attending School (%)

5 to 14

41.8

 

Combining Work and School (%)

7 to 14

4.6

 

Primary Completion Rate (%)

 

Unavailable

 

Primary completion rate was unavailable from UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2018. (5)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children’s Work Project’s analysis of statistics from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4, 2010-2011. (6)

 

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children’s work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children’s Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry

Activity

Agriculture

Farming, including harvesting poppies (7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13)

Herding (8; 14; 15; 11; 13)

Industry

Carpet weaving† (8; 15; 16; 17; 11; 18)

Construction, including gravelling, paving, and painting (19; 11; 20; 21)

Coal, gold, and salt mining† (14; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28)

Brick-making (8; 9; 14; 17; 29)

Working in metal workshops, including in the production of doors, windows, and water tanks (17; 19; 30; 31)

Services

Domestic work (8; 32; 13)

Transporting water and goods, including across international borders (8; 14; 33; 11; 34)

Street work, including peddling, vending, shoe shining, carrying goods, and begging (8; 11; 35; 18; 36)

Collecting garbage† (37; 20; 35; 18)

Washing cars (8; 9; 11)

Selling goods in stores (8; 19; 30; 33)

Collecting and selling firewood (38; 11; 34)

Repairing automobiles (39; 20)

Voluntarily recruited children used in hostilities by state armed groups (3; 4)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Recruitment of children by non-state armed groups for use in armed conflict (40; 32; 3; 4)

Use in illicit activities, including in producing and trafficking of drugs, and pickpocketing (8; 41; 35; 42; 43; 31; 44)

Domestic work as a result of human trafficking (32; 44)

Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (33; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 44)

Forced labor in the production of bricks and carpets, and in begging, each sometimes as a result of human trafficking (1; 2; 17; 33; 50; 31; 44)

† Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.

 

Children are subject to commercial sexual exploitation throughout the country. A remaining concern is the practice of bacha bazi, or boy play, in which men–including police commanders, tribal leaders, warlords, and mafia heads–force boys to provide social and sexual entertainment. (46; 51; 52) In many cases, these boys are dressed in female clothing, used as dancers at parties and ceremonies, and sexually exploited. (46) According to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, the practice exists in all provinces of the country. (53) Research has found specific cases in the provinces of Baghlan, Balkh, Faryab, Helmand, Konduz, Takhar, and Uruzgan. (49; 52; 46) A national inquiry conducted in 2014 found that most boys were between the ages of 13 and 16, and that 60 percent of them had been subjected to physical violence, confinement, and threats of death. (46) Some government officials, including members of the Afghan National Police, the Afghan Local Police, and the Afghan Border Police, exploit boys for bacha bazi as well as for work as tea servers or cooks in police camps. (54; 46; 48; 49; 51; 53; 44; 55) A few such cases took place and were documented in 2017. (4; 56; 57) Some local police commanders abduct boys and use them for bacha bazi. (48; 49)

Afghan children are trafficked both domestically and internationally. Afghan boys are used for forced labor in agriculture and construction abroad, and girls tend to be used for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work in destination countries, primarily Iran and Pakistan. (44) Children were trafficked to settle their family’s debt, including in the production of bricks and illicit drugs. (2; 8; 44) Some Afghan girls are subjected to forced marriage in exchange for money for their families. (56) Reports indicate that girls from Iran, Pakistan, and China are trafficked to Afghanistan for commercial sexual exploitation. (56) Some child laborers are subjected to sexual violence. (20; 35) According to an international organization, there is an emerging trend of forced recruitment of trafficked children into non-state armed groups. (32)

Widespread violence and lack of economic opportunities lead some Afghan children to leave Afghanistan. (58; 59; 60; 61; 62) Some children specifically go to Iran to engage in child labor. (63) According to the UN, some Afghan refugee children in Iran engage in child labor and do not attend school. (32) There are reports that the Iranian Government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) coerce male Afghan migrants, including young boys, to fight in Syria in IRGC-organized and -commanded militias by threatening them with arrest and deportation to Afghanistan. (44; 56) The Taliban recruited and forced children to attend madrassas in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they received religious and military training. (56; 57) Some families received cash payments in exchange for sending their children to the Taliban-run schools. (56) Boys, especially those traveling unaccompanied, are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Some Afghan boys are subjected to sex trafficking in Greece after paying high fees to be smuggled into the country. (44; 64)

Non-state groups, such as the Taliban and the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, recruited children for use in armed conflict, including as combatants and suicide bombers. (40; 4; 32; 3) The UN verified the continued use of children by the government in 2017, including 11 cases of recruitment by the Afghan National Police, 9 by the Afghan Local Police, 1 by Afghan National Border Police, and 1 by the National Directorate of Security. (4; 32; 3) Low birth registration and falsified identity documents contribute to the problem because it makes the determination of a recruit’s age difficult. (65; 66) Observers reported that some officials accepted bribes to produce false identity documents that indicated the recipient boys were more than 18 years old. (44)

In 2016, UNICEF asserted that approximately 3.5 million school-age children are out of school in the country, 75 percent of whom are girls. (32) Barriers to education for children include displacement of populations due to conflict, the use of schools as military bases, attacks on schools, distance from school, school-related fees, lack of security, and lack of documentation. (21) Girls face additional barriers to education including lack of hygiene facilities, shortage of female teachers, and not being allowed by parents to go to school. (8; 67; 68) Schools do not provide sufficient services to children with disabilities. (32) Some nomad, or kuchi, children do not attend school because they travel to tend to livestock. (32) There were more than 445,000 new internally displaced persons during the reporting period. (69) Child labor is particularly prevalent among urban internally displaced persons. (21) In 2017, approximately 467,000 refugee and undocumented Afghans returned to Afghanistan from Iran and 155,000 from Pakistan. (56) The lack of necessary documents for children among displaced and returnee populations is an additional barrier to education. (18) For example, about half of returnee children from Pakistan do not attend school and are also particularly vulnerable to child labor, including debt bondage in brick factories. (50; 70; 71; 72; 32) Some individuals who facilitate repatriation take returnees to brick factories and keep them in debt bondage to repay their transportation costs. (51) Based on NGO reports, some 200,000 child laborers returned with their families from Pakistan and Iran and continued to engage in child labor in Afghanistan. (56)

Afghanistan has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention

Ratification

ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor

UN CRC

UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict

UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography

Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

 

The government has established laws and regulations related to child labor (Table 4). However, gaps exist in Afghanistan’s legal framework to adequately protect children from the worst forms of child labor, including debt bondage.

Table 4. Laws and Regulations on Child Labor

Standard

Meets International Standards: Yes/No

Age

Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Article 13 of the Labor Law (73)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Articles 13 and 120 of the Labor Law (73)

Identification of Hazardous Occupations or Activities Prohibited for Children

Yes

 

List of Prohibited Jobs for Child Laborers; Article 613 of the Penal Code (74; 75)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

No

 

Article 4 of the Labor Law; Articles 510 and 511 of the Penal Code; Article 3 of the Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants; Article 36 of the Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (73; 76; 77; 75)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Articles 510–512 of the Penal Code; Article 3 of the Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (76; 75)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

No

 

Article 18.2 of the Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women; Articles 650, 652–667, and 874 of the Penal Code; Article 3 of the Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (76; 77; 75){, 2009 #261}

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

List of Prohibited Jobs for Child Laborers; Articles 1, 7, and 23 of the Counter Narcotics Law; Articles 3.1–3.2 of the Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (74; 78)

Prohibition of Military Recruitment

 

 

 

State Compulsory

N/A*

 

 

State Voluntary

Yes

18

Article 605–8 of the Penal Code (75)

Non-state

Yes

18

Articles 510–512 of the Penal Code; Articles 3 of the Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (76; 75)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

15‡

Article 17 of the Education Law; Article 609 of the Penal Code (79; 75)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 17 of the Education Law (79)

* No conscription (80)
‡ Age calculated based on available information (81)

 

In 2017, the President approved a new Penal Code, published in the Official Gazette in May. The Penal Code entered into force in February 2018 and explicitly prohibits and sets penalties for the use of male or transgender children for bacha bazi. (32; 75) However, the new Penal Code does not create criminal penalties for the use of female children engaged in prostitution and therefore it does not meet the international standard on sexual exploitation of children.

In 2016, the government drafted a Comprehensive Child Act that remained under review in 2017. (32; 82)

Afghan law does not sufficiently criminalize forced labor and debt bondage.

The government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor (Table 5). However, gaps exist within the authority of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs, and Disabled (MoLSAMD) that may hinder adequate enforcement of their child labor laws.

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Child Protection Action Network (CPAN)

Operates as a coalition of government agencies, NGOs, and community and religious leaders. Receive complaints of child labor, investigate such cases, and refer them to NGO and government shelters that provide social services. (54; 83) Not all provinces have a CPAN. (17; 84) The CPANs’ capacity is not uniform or based on need, and the type of intervention depends on members of a particular CPAN and resources available. (31) In 2017, there were 133 CPANs in the country with 4,500 volunteers. (32)

Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD)

Respond to complaints of child labor, child trafficking, and child sexual exploitation; refer cases to the Attorney General’s Office and NGO shelters; and operate a shelter for trafficking victims in Kabul. (66)

Ministry of the Interior

Enforce laws related to child trafficking, the use of children in illicit activities, and child sexual exploitation. (83)

National Directorate of Security

Identify human trafficking victims and refer these cases to the Ministry of the Interior. (85)

Attorney General’s Office

Investigate and prosecute human trafficking, abduction, and sexual exploitation cases. (66)

 

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2017, labor law enforcement agencies in Afghanistan took actions to combat child labor (Table 6). However, gaps exist within the authority of MoLSAMD that may hinder adequate labor law enforcement, including penalty assessment authorization.

Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2016

2017

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Number of Labor Inspectors

32 (54)

8 (32)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

No (54)

No (32)

Training for Labor Inspectors

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

No (54)

No (32)

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

N/A

No (32)

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown

No (32)

Number of Labor Inspections Conducted

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Number Conducted at Worksites

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties were Imposed

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Number of Child Labor Penalties Imposed that were Collected

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Routine Inspections Conducted

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Routine Inspections Targeted

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (54)

Yes (32)

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Unknown

Unknown* (32)

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (54)

Yes (32)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (54)

Yes (32)

* The government does not publish this information.

 

Labor inspectors do not have legal authority to inspect worksites for compliance with child labor laws or impose penalties for non-compliance. (83; 86) However, CPAN, of which MoLSAMD is a component, can respond to complaints of child labor, investigate cases, and issue warnings or refer criminal cases to the Attorney General’s Office. A person wishing to file a complaint must specify the legal grounds for labor violations in writing. (87)

In 2017, MoLSAMD had 26 inspector positions, only 12 of which were filled. Of these, 8 were labor inspectors and 4 occupational safety and health inspectors. (32) The number of labor inspectors is likely insufficient for the size of Afghanistan’s workforce, which includes more than 7.9 million workers. (88) According to the ILO’s technical advice of a ratio approaching 1 inspector for every 40,000 workers in less developed economies, Afghanistan would employ roughly 200 labor inspectors. (83; 89; 90) Government officials, NGOs, and UNICEF acknowledge that the number of labor inspectors is insufficient. (83)

Business owners are not required to allow unannounced inspections. (83) Based on available information, MoLSAMD only inspects businesses that are registered with the Ministry. (32)

During the reporting period, MoLSAMD removed 40 children from an illegal salt mine and enrolled them in school. (32)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2017, criminal law enforcement agencies in Afghanistan took actions to combat child labor (Table 7). However, gaps exist within the operations of the criminal enforcement agencies that may hinder adequate criminal law enforcement, including training for criminal investigators.

Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2016

2017

Training for Investigators

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Unknown

No (32)

Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Unknown

Yes (56)

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown

No (32)

Number of Investigations

60 (52)

10 (32)

Number of Violations Found

Unknown

Unknown (32)

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

Unknown

Unknown (32)

Number of Convictions

Unknown

Unknown (32)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (54)

Yes (32)

 

In 2017, the Ministry of the Interior employed two officers in each anti-human trafficking unit throughout Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, but the units lacked training and resources. (56) Government officials continue to state that they lack equipment and transportation to carry out investigations. (54) During the reporting period, the government detected 10 cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children, which were at different levels of the legal process, but the details are not available. (32)

Individuals who subject boys to bacha bazi were not prosecuted and some government officials contributed to this problem. (52; 44) The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission’s 2014 report assessed that most men who engage in bacha bazi paid bribes to, or had relationships with, law enforcement, prosecutors, or judges and that fact practically exempted them from prosecution. (44)

Victims of human trafficking were routinely prosecuted and convicted of crimes. (44) Male victims of child trafficking, especially those engaged in commercial sexual exploitation or armed conflict, were sometimes referred to juvenile detention and rehabilitation facilities, instead of appropriate victim support services. (91; 44; 92) Male child sex trafficking victims, including boys subjected to bacha bazi, were in some cases referred to juvenile rehabilitation centers on criminal charges. (44) The UN noted that some children associated with armed groups were kept in detention centers instead of juvenile rehabilitation centers. (57) The UN reported that some of these children were subjected to torture and ill treatment. (92; 93)

The government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor (Table 8). However, gaps exist that hinder the effective coordination of efforts to address child labor, including efforts to address all forms of child labor.

Table 8. Key Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role and Description

High Commission for Combating Crimes of Abduction and Human Trafficking

Address human trafficking in general, including child trafficking. Led by the Ministry of Justice; comprises nine ministries and five other entities. (32) In 2017, met regularly and identified 476 victims of human trafficking, although it is unknown how many of them may be children. Also carried out 210 awareness raising campaigns on human trafficking. (56)

Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on Children and Armed Conflict

Coordinate efforts to eliminate the recruitment and use of child soldiers. Led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and monitored by the UN and NGOs. (32) Research was unable to determine whether the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on Children and Armed Conflict was active during the reporting period.

 

Although there are these two sectoral mechanisms to coordinate government efforts to combat trafficking in persons and child soldiering, the government has not established an overarching coordination mechanism to address all child labor present in the country, including forced labor, debt bondage, and commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The government has established policies related to child labor (Table 9). However, policy gaps exist that hinder efforts to address child labor, including implementation.

Table 9. Key Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Labor Policy

Includes objectives to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, such as those involving hazardous activities; pass legislation prohibiting child labor; and effectively enforce child labor laws. (94) Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.

Action Plan for the Prevention of Underage Recruitment

Aims to prevent the recruitment of minors into the Afghan National Security Forces, including the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police, the National Directory of Security, and pro-government militia groups. Seeks to ensure the release of children under age 18 from the armed forces and facilitate their reintegration into families and communities. (95) In 2017, the policy remained in effect, but no further information was available. (56)

Policy on Child Labor in Carpet Weaving

Provides social services to children and incentives for weaving families that avoid child labor. Includes an implementation plan. (96) Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.

National Strategy for Children at Risk

Creates a framework to provide social services to at-risk children and their families, and guides donors in contributing toward a comprehensive child protection system. Focuses specifically on working children, trafficked children, child soldiers, and other children affected by conflict. (97) Since the adoption of the policy, the establishment of CPANs has been an important achievement in its implementation. (32) Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.

Policy for Protection of Children in Armed Conflict†

Reiterates the commitment to prevent children from recruitment and sexual exploitation in the armed forces, and provide services to children rescued from engagement in armed conflict. Assigns the Ministry of Defense and the Afghan National Police with monitoring that children’s rights are safeguarded and coordinating with CPANs and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. (84)

† Policy was approved during the reporting period.

In 2017, the government funded and participated in programs that include the goal of preventing child labor (Table 10). However, gaps exist in these social programs, including inadequate coverage of all sectors.

Table 10. Key Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

USDOL-Funded Projects to address child labor

USDOL funds projects that aim to build capacity of government law enforcement officials and address child labor in the carpet industry. Includes Project to Prevent Child Labor in Home-Based Carpet Production in Afghanistan, a $2 million project implemented by GoodWeave; and Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labor, a capacity-building project implemented by the ILO in at least 11 countries to build local and national capacity of the government to address child labor. (98; 99) Additional information is available on the USDOL website.

Age Verification of New Afghan National Security Forces Recruits†

Joint government and UNICEF program that operates child protection units in the Afghan National Security Forces recruitment centers. Aims to ensure that new recruits meet the minimum age requirement of age 18 by carefully screening applicants. (100) The process includes an ID check and a requirement that at least 2 community elders vouch that a recruit is age 18 or older and is eligible to serve. (101) In 2017, a child protection unit was opened in Kandahar to monitor and prevent child recruitment, bringing the number of child protection units to 22. (56)

† Program is funded by the Government of Afghanistan.

 

During the reporting period, the government rescued nearly 40 children from a madrassa near the Pakistan border where they were receiving military training by the Taliban. (102)

There is no evidence of programs designed specifically to prevent and eliminate child labor in agriculture or forced child labor in the production of bricks. Moreover, there were no government-run shelters for victims of human trafficking, although there were two NGO-operated shelters in Kabul for victims of labor and sex trafficking, including one specifically for boys. (56) Some boys who are victims of human trafficking were arrested and some sent to juvenile rehabilitation centers due to the lack of shelters. (51; 55)

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor in Afghanistan (Table 11).

Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Ensure that forced labor and debt bondage are criminally prohibited.

2015 – 2017

Create criminal penalties for the use of any child engaged in prostitution.

2017

Enforcement

Establish a CPAN in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and ensure they can provide all the needed services.

2016 – 2017

Track and publish information on labor inspections, including the Labor Inspectorate funding, number and type of child labor inspections, number of violations found, and penalties imposed and collected.

2015 – 2017

Authorize the Labor Inspectorate to assess penalties for violations of Afghan law.

2015 – 2017

Ensure that labor inspectors and criminal investigators receive training on child labor.

2011 – 2017

Increase the number of labor inspectors to meet the ILO technical advice.

2011 – 2017

Simplify the child labor complaint mechanism to allow oral complaints, and waive the requirement that the individual filing a complaint must specify the legal grounds for the violation.

2015 – 2017

Ensure that the Labor Inspectorate has legal authority to enforce child labor laws, including by legally requiring businesses to comply with unannounced inspections.

2014 – 2017

Publish data on criminal investigation, including the number of violations, prosecutions, and convictions for all crimes involving the worst forms of child labor.

2011 – 2017

Ensure that investigators are available and receive resources, including equipment and transportation, to enforce criminal child labor laws.

2012 – 2017

Ensure that child victims of human trafficking and other worst forms of child labor are correctly identified as victims and are not detained, and ensure that victims are referred to appropriate social services, and that children held in juvenile detention or rehabilitation facilities are not subject to mistreatment or torture.

2014 – 2017

Coordination

Ensure all coordinating bodies are able to carry out their intended mandates.

2017

Establish coordinating mechanisms to combat child labor, including its worst forms, present in the country.

2013 – 2017

Government Policies

Implement the National Labor Policy, Policy on Child Labor in Carpet Weaving, and the National Strategy for Children at Risk.

2016 – 2017

Social Programs

Institute a birth registration campaign.

2015 – 2017

Institute programs to increase access to education and to improve security in schools, especially for girls.

2014 – 2017

Institute programs to address child labor in agriculture and bonded child labor in brick kilns.

2009 – 2017

Provide financial support to open shelters for victims of human trafficking and to ensure that sufficient shelter services are available for male child trafficking victims.

2010 – 2017

1. ILO and UNICEF. Breaking the mould: Occupational safety hazards faced by children working in brick kilns in Afghanistan. April 13, 2015. http://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_25295/lang--en/index.htm.

2. Sabory, Ghafoor. Nangarhar Women and Children Forced into Slavery Over Loans. April 12, 2015. http://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/nangarhar-women-and-children-forced-slavery-over-loans.

3. Watch List on Children and Armed Conflict. Children and Armed Conflict: Monthly Update. December 2017. https://watchlist.org/wp-content/uploads/watchlist-cac-monthly-update-december-2017.pdf.

4. UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict - Annual Report. February 2018. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/AF/ProtectionCiviliansAnnualReport2017.pdf.

5. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). Accessed April 22, 2018. http://data.uis.unesco.org/. For more information, please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.

6. UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4, 2010-11. Analysis received January 12, 2018. Please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.

7. Gannon, Kathy. After Record Opium Year, Afghans Plant New Crop. Associated Press. November 13, 2013. https://www.news24.com/World/News/Afghans-plant-new-crop-after-record-opium-year-20131113.

8. Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. The Situation of Children in Afghanistan. December 31, 2013. http://www.aihrc.org.af/home/research_report/2213.

9. Haleem, Omid. Afghan children are victims of continuing insurgency in Afghanistan. Xinhua News Service. May 31, 2015. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-06/01/c_134286052.htm.

10. Hamim, Abdullah. Poppy Fields Flourish In Govt-Controlled Greshk. Tolo News. July 11, 2017. http://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/provincial/poppy-fields-flourish-govt-controlled-greshk.

11. Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. The Situation of Human Rights. 2017. http://www.aihrc.org.af/home/research_report/6509.

12. Faramarz, Samim. Helmand Farmers Await Poppy Harvests. Tolo News. February 23, 2017. https://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/provincial/helmand-farmers-await-poppy-harvests.

13. Azizi, Abdul Maqsod. Bounded child labour: I am working out of Compulsion. Pajhwok Afghan News. November 25, 2017. https://www.pajhwok.com/en/2017/11/25/bounded-child-labour-i-am-working-out-compulsion.

14. Veda Khamoush, Soheila. Hazardous work and violations of childrens rights. Pajhwok. November 9, 2013. https://www.pajhwok.com/dr/2013/11/09/%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%87-%D9%88-%D9%86%D9%82%D8%B6-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%B1%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%88%D8%AF%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%86.

15. Samuel Hall Consulting. Ties that Bind: Child Labor in the Afghan Carpet Sector. Kabul: GoodWeave International. June 2014. [Source on file].

16. —. Cutting the Threads? Assessing Child Labour in the Afghan Carpet Production. Kabul. GoodWeave International. June 2014. [Source on file].

17. Human Rights Watch. "They Bear All the Pain" Hazardous Child Labor in Afghanistan. July 2016. https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/afghanistan0716_brochure_lowres.pdf.

18. —. "I Won’t Be a Doctor, and One Day You’ll Be Sick" Girls’ Access to Education in Afghanistan. October 17, 2017. https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/10/17/i-wont-be-doctor-and-one-day-youll-be-sick/girls-access-education-afghanistan.

19. Zucchino, David. In Afghanistan, childhood is often a full-time job. Los Angeles Times. April 19, 2014. http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-afghanistan-child-workers-20140420-dto-htmlstory.html.

20. Naadem, Bashir Ahmad. Sexual harassment of children on the rise in Kandahar. Pajhwok Afghan News. December 9, 2017. https://www.pajhwok.com/en/2017/12/09/sexual-harassment-children-rise-kandahar.

21. Samuel Hall Consulting. Going Home to Displacement: Afghanistan's Returnee IDPs. December 2017. http://samuelhall.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/20171214-idmc-afghanistan-case-study.pdf.

22. Azizi, Mohammad Seddiq. Afghan miners killed in coal mine collapse. Al Jazeera. September 15, 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/09/201391563752759330.html.

23. Amini, Karim. Child Labor in Samangan Coal Mines. Tolo News. March 5, 2015. http://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/child-labor-samangan-coal-mines.

24. Azorda, Yaqub. Child Labour in Afghan Coal Mines. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. April 5, 2017. https://iwpr.net/global-voices/child-labour-afghan-coal-mines.

25. Salehi, Syed Enam. Children Are Forced to Work in Taqcha Khana Salt Mine. Salam Watandar. December 14, 2017. http://salamwatandar.com/english/article.aspx?a=36421.

26. Ashna, Zalmai. Many bonded child laborers work in Takhar salt mine. Pajhwok Afghan News. December 27, 2017. https://www.pajhwok.com/en/2017/12/27/many-bonded-child-laborers-work-takhar-salt-mine.

27. Makhdoum Borhan, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. Fox Group Session on the Negative Consequences of Child Labor. November 13, 2017. http://www.aihrc.org.af/home/daily_report/6792.

28. Faizi, Fereshteh. Gold Mining in Afghanistan Face the Problems of Non-Transparent Contracts and Unauthorized Extraction. Pajhwok Afghan News. February 25, 2014. [Source on file].

29. Raqib, Susan. How Wars and Disasters Fuel Child Labor. Human Rights Watch. June 12, 2017. https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/12/how-wars-and-disasters-fuel-child-labor.

30. TOLO News. 6 p.m. News, Kabul (transcript and translation by BBC Monitoring South Asia - Political). September 17, 2016. http://www.tolonews.com/nightly-news/tolonews-6pm-news-17-september-2016.

31. ILO. National Child Labor Legislation, Policy and Program Review. November 2017. [Source on file].

32. U.S. Embassy- Kabul. Reporting, January 20, 2018.

33. UNICEF. Child Notice Afghanistan. January 2013. http://www.refworld.org/docid/5124c09e2.html.

34. ILO. Child Labour Assessment in Balkh and Samangan Provinces, Afghanistan. December 1, 2015. http://www.ilo.org/asia/countries/afghanistan/WCMS_496512/lang--en/index.htm.

35. Jafar, Barat Ali. Afghan Child Labourers Exposed to Abuse. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. December 4, 2017. https://iwpr.net/global-voices/afghan-child-labourers-exposed-abuse.

36. Ahmadi, Zhakfar, and Malali Bashir. Kabul’s Vulnerable Street Vendor Girls. Gandhara. March 21, 2017. https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-underage-girl-vendors/28382414.html?link_id=59&source=email%EF%BF%BDmedia%EF%BF%BDmentions%EF%BF%BDapril%EF%BF%BD11%EF%BF%BD2017.

37. UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. End of Mission Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Mr. Chaloka Beyani, on his visit to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. October 20, 2016. http://ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20712&LangID=E.

38. Rahmanyar, Alam. Children selling firewood in Sheberghan face hard labor. Azadi Radio. January 14, 2017. https://da.azadiradio.com/a/28222947.html.

39. Akhgar, Tamim. Afghan Children Celebrate Children Day through Hard Labor. Azadi Radio. June 1, 2016. https://da.azadiradio.com/a/27772696.html.

40. Ariana TV. IS militant group recruits children in Afghan north. December 6, 2017. [Source on file].

41. Aziz, Azara. Afghan Children Targeted by Drug Gangs: Minors are seen as the ideal way to smuggle and supply narcotics. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. November 29, 2016 . https://iwpr.net/global-voices/afghan-children-targeted-drug-gangs.

42. Ariana News. Young Thieves and Large Robberies in the Street of Kabul. May 11, 2017. http://avapress.com/vdcauun6049ny01.k5k4.html.

43. Afghan Voice Agency (AVA). Two Million Children are Engaged in Hard Labor in Afghanistan. August 16, 2017. http://www.avapress.com/vdcdoj0f9yt0os6.2a2y.html.

44. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report- 2017: Afghanistan. Washington, DC. June 27, 2017. https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2017/271129.htm.

45. Chopra, Anuj. Taliban use 'honey trap' boys to kill Afghan police. Agence France-Presse. June 16, 2016. https://www.yahoo.com/news/taliban-honey-trap-boys-kill-afghan-police-034032649.html.

46. Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. Causes and Consequences of Bachabazi in Afghanistan. Kabul. October 14, 2014. http://www.aihrc.org.af/home/research_report/3324.

47. Thorson, Jane. Forgotten No More: Male Child Trafficking in Afghanistan. Hagar International. October 2013. http://hagarinternational.org/australia/files/Forgotten-No-More.pdf.

48. Chopra, Anuj. Hopeless Afghan struggle to save boy sex slaves. Agence France-Presse. December 19, 2016. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/hopeless-afghan-struggle-save-boy-sex-slaves-062614093.html.

49. —. Behind the shame and silence. Agence France-Presse. January 8, 2017. https://correspondent.afp.com/behind-shame-and-silence.

50. Noori, Zabihullah. Held in bonded labour, Afghan returnee children make bricks for a living. Reuters. November 2, 2016. http://news.trust.org/item/20161102143257-7ahkn/.

51. U.S. Embassy- Kabul. Reporting, February 28, 2017.

52. Babak, Qayum. Boys Sold for Sex in Afghan Province. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. March 2, 2017. https://iwpr.net/global-voices/boys-sold-sex-afghan-province.

53. Saifullah, Masood. Afghan laws 'ambiguous' about pedophilic boy play subculture. Deutsche Welle. June 20, 2016. http://www.dw.com/en/afghan-laws-ambiguous-about-pedophilic-boy-play-subculture/a-19343339.

54. U.S. Embassy- Kabul. Reporting, January 18, 2017.

55. Chopra, Anuj. Stolen boys: Life after sexual slavery in Afghanistan. Agence France-Presse. June 26, 2017. https://www.yahoo.com/news/stolen-boys-life-sexual-slavery-afghanistan-044706821.html.

56. U.S. Embassy- Kabul. Reporting, February 15, 2018.

57. UN. Reporting. 2017.

58. Bengali, Shashank. Afghans, leaving in droves, say they see no future in their country. Los Angeles Times. March 17, 2016. http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-afghan-refugees-20160317-story.html.

59. U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2016: Afghanistan. Washington, DC. 2017. https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/265742.pdf.

60. Malikyar, Helena. Afghanistan: The other refugee crisis. Al Jazeera. September 15, 2015 . http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/09/afghanistan-refugee-crisis-150915073827019.html.

61. Froutan, Aziz and Nicole Foster. Children on the move: Young Afghan migrants receive support after hazardous journey home. UNICEF Afghanistan. September 7, 2016. https://medium.com/@UNICEFAfghanistan/children-on-the-move-fd2d2bafcec5.

62. Bjelica, Jelena. Deciding To Leave Afghanistan (2): The routes and the risks. Afghanistan Analysts Network. May 18, 2016. https://www.afghanistan-analysts.org/deciding-to-leave-afghanistan-2-the-routes-and-the-risks/.

63. The Voice of Refugees. The Bitter Story of Afghan Migrant Child Laborers. HRANA. November 19, 2017. https://www.vorefugee.com/?p=2471.

64. Howden, Daniel. Refugees Caught Up in Child Prostitution in Athens. Refugees Deeply. July 14, 2016. https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2016/07/14/refugees-caught-up-in-child-prostitution-in-athens.

65. Mirzaei, Gulistan. Finding a way to stop child recruitment in Afghanistan. UNICEF. October 7, 2014. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/afghanistan_76196.html.

66. U.S. Embassy Kabul official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. June 16, 2017.

67. Bouckaert, Peter. Schools Under Siege: How Afghan Classrooms Became Bunkers. Foreign Affairs. May 30, 2016. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/afghanistan/2016-05-30/schools-under-siege.

68. Human Rights Watch. "Education on the Front Lines" Military Use of Schools in Afghanistan’s Baghlan Province. August 17, 2016. https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/08/17/education-front-lines/military-use-schools-afghanistans-baghlan-province.

69. UNHCR. Operational Portal - Refugee Situations: Afghanistan. December 31, 2017. https://data2.unhcr.org/en/country/afg.

70. The Associated Press. Afghan children returning from Pakistan risk early marriage, child labour. Dawn. December 14, 2016 . http://www.dawn.com/news/1302285/afghan-children-returning-from-pakistan-risk-early-marriage-child-labour.

71. Ul-Haq, Mahfooz. Afghanistan's Modern Day Slave Labourers. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. January 24, 2017. https://iwpr.net/global-voices/afghanistans-modern-day-slave-labourers.

72. Save the Children. Thousands of Children Face Early Marriage and Child Labour as Education Crisis Takes Hold among Afghan Children Repatriated from Pakistan. December 14, 2016. https://www.savethechildren.net/article/thousands-children-face-early-marriage-and-child-labour-education-crisis-takes-hold-among.

73. Government of Afghanistan. Labour Law. Enacted: February 4, 2007. http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex_browse.details?p_lang=en&p_country=AFG&p_classification=01.02&p_origin=COUNTRY&p_sortby=SORTBY_COUNTRY.

74. Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries. MOLSAMD Announces List of Prohibited Jobs for Child Labors. February 9, 2014. http://www.acci.org.af/component/content/article/38-news/467-molsamd-announces-list-of-prohibited-jobs-for-child-labors.html.

75. Government of Afghanistan. Penal Code, Official Gazette No. 1260. Enacted: 2017. http://moj.gov.af/content/files/OfficialGazette/01201/OG_01260.pdf.

76. —. Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants. Enacted: 2016. http://moj.gov.af/content/files/OfficialGazette/01201/OG_01244.pdf.

77. —. Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women. Enacted: 2009. [Source on file].

78. —. Counter Narcotics Law. Enacted: December 17, 2005. http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c1f343b2.html.

79. —. Education Law. Enacted: July 1, 2008. [Source on file].

80. —. Presidential Decree No. 97. Enacted: December 25, 2003. [Source on file].

81. U.S. Embassy- Kabul. Reporting, February 8, 2015.

82. Rouie, Zafarshah. Afghanistan will have a child protection law. November 27, 2017. https://8am.af/x8am/1396/09/19/23-years-after-joining-the-convention-on-the-rights-of-the-child-afghanistan-has-a-child-protection-act/.

83. U.S. Embassy- Kabul. Reporting, January 31, 2016.

84. Ministry of Defense. Policy for Protection of Children in Armed Conflict. October 2017. [Source on file].

85. Government of Afghanistan, Ministry of Justice. First-Third Quarter Consolidated Report of High Commission to Combat Crimes of Abduction and Human Trafficking for 1392 (2013). February 10, 2014. [Source on file].

86. U.S. Embassy- Kabul official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. June 4, 2018.

87. U.S. Department of State official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. February 23, 2016.

88. CIA. The World Factbook. Accessed January 19, 2018. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2095rank.html. Please see "Labor Law enforcement: Sources and Definitions" in the Reference Materials section of this report.

89. ILO. Strategies and Practice for Labour Inspection. Geneva, Committee on Employment and Social Policy. GB.297/ESP/3. November 2006. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/gb/docs/gb297/pdf/esp-3.pdf. Please see "Labor Law enforcement: Sources and Definitions" in the Reference Materials section of this report.

90. UN. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 Statistical Annex. New York. 2017. https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/publication/2017wesp_full_en.pdf. Please see "Labor Law Enforcement: Sources and Definitions" in the Reference Materials section of this report.

91. U.S. Embassy- Kabul. Reporting, February 1, 2016.

92. UN General Assembly Security Council. Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. June 5, 2015: S/2015/409. http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2015_409.pdf.

93. UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees: Implementation of Afghanistan’s National Plan on the Elimination of Torture. April 2017. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/AF/AfghanReportApril2017.pdf.

94. Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled. National Labor Policy. 2012. [source on file].

95. Government of Afghanistan. Action Plan regarding Children associated with National Security Forces in Afghanistan. March 30, 2011. [Source on file].

96. Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled. Policy on Child Labor in Carpet Weaving. 2016. http://policymof.gov.af/smaf-annex-ii-child-labour-in-carpet-weaving-policy-paper-and-action-plan-molsamd/.

97. Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled. National Strategy for Children ‘at-risk': A better Future for Afghanistan's vulnerable children and their families. November 2004. http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session5/AF/AFG_Afghanistan_National_Strategy_for_Children_at-risk.pdf.

98. GoodWeave International. Project to Prevent Child Labor in Home-Based Carpet Production in Afghanistan. Washington, DC. August 1, 2013. [Source on file].

99. ILO-IPEC. Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labor (CLEAR). October 2015: Technical Progress Report. [Source on file].

100. UNICEF. UNICEF Afghanistan Situation Report. July 31, 2013. http://www.unicef.org/appeals/files/UNICEF_Afghanistan_HAC_mid-year_report-_July_2013.pdf.

101. U.S. Department of State official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. June 10, 2014.

102. Hashimi, Zakria. Poverty drives child soldiers into Afghanistan's endless war. Agence France-Presse. September 6, 2017. https://www.yahoo.com/news/poverty-drives-child-soldiers-afghanistans-endless-war-054325180.html.

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