Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Afghanistan

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Afghanistan

2015 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2015, Afghanistan made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The President ordered the creation of a committee to prevent and prosecute Government officials involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of boys. The Government also prevented children from enlisting in the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. However, children in Afghanistan are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in armed conflict and the forced production of bricks. Afghanistan’s labor inspectorate is not authorized to impose penalties for child labor violations, and the Government lacks programs to eliminate child labor in certain sectors in which it is prevalent.

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Children in Afghanistan are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in armed conflict and the forced production of bricks.(1-7) 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

Working children, ages 5 to 14:

7.5 (673,949)

School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):

41.8

Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):

4.6

Primary completion rate (%):

Unavailable

Primary completion rate was unavailable from UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(8)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children’s Work Project’s analysis of statistics from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4 , 2010-2011.(9)

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 (10-13)

Herding* (12, 14, 15)

Industry

Carpet weaving† (12, 15-17)

Construction,* activities unknown (12, 18)

Coal, gem,* and salt* mining† (14, 19-22)

Brick making (1, 12-14, 17, 23)

Services

Domestic work (6, 12, 17)

Transporting water and goods, including across international borders (12, 14, 24, 25)

Street work, including peddling, vending, shoe shining, carrying goods, and begging (6, 12, 17, 26)

Collecting garbage† (6, 17, 25)

Washing cars* (12, 13)

Selling goods in stores* (12, 25)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Use in illicit activities, including in the trafficking of drugs (6, 12, 27, 28)

Use in armed conflict, sometimes a result of forced recruitment (5-7, 13, 28)

Domestic work as a result of human trafficking (4, 28, 29)

Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (25, 26, 28, 30-33)

Forced labor in the production of bricks and carpets,* and in begging, each sometimes as a result of human trafficking (1-4, 25, 28, 29)

* Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
† 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.

In Afghanistan, children are most commonly trafficked internally for labor exploitation in carpet weaving, brick making, domestic work, commercial sexual exploitation, begging, and drug smuggling.(4, 29) Children are also trafficked transnationally, primarily to Pakistan, Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, and Greece. Boys are used for forced labor in agriculture, construction, begging, drug smuggling, and commercial sexual exploitation, while girls are used for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work.(4, 28, 29) Evidence points to the trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation and debt settlement, including bonded labor in the production of bricks.(3, 4, 12) There are reports indicate that girls from other countries—including Iran and Pakistan—are trafficked to Afghanistan for commercial sexual exploitation.(4, 28)

Non-state groups, such as the Taliban and Da’esh (also known as the Islamic State of Khorasan Province), recruited children for use in armed conflict, to plant improvised explosive devices, or to act as suicide bombers.(5, 6, 13, 28) The Taliban use some schools for child recruitment and military training.(7) Limited evidence indicates that the Da’esh trained children as young age 5 in the use of weapons.(21) The UN has also verified cases of recruitment and use of children by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.(7) Low birth registration contributes to the problem because it makes the determination of a recruit’s age difficult.(34)

Children, especially boys, are subject to commercial sexual exploitation throughout the country. The practice of bacha bazi (boy play), in which men keep young boys for social and sexual entertainment, is particularly prevalent.(32, 35) In many cases, these boys are dressed in female clothing, used as dancers at parties and ceremonies, and sexually exploited.(32, 36) A national inquiry conducted in 2014 found that most boys were ages 13–16.(32) Reports indicate that some government officials, including members of the Afghan National Police, Afghan Local Police, and the Afghan Border Police, have boys for bacha bazi and also have them work as tea servers or cooks in police camps.(32, 35, 37)

Based on a 2013 report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, about 6 million children are out of school. Barriers to education for children include distance from school, school-related fees, lack of security, and not being allowed by parents to go to school, particularly for girls.(12) Attacks on schools continued in 2015; and 68 schools in Nangarhar province were closed due activities of groups affiliated with Da’esh.(7)

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, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard

Yes/No

Age

Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Article 13 of the Labor Law (38)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Articles 13 and 120 of the Labor Law (38)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children

Yes

 

List of Prohibited Jobs for Child Laborers (39)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 4 of the Labor Law; Articles 7.3 and 8.2 of the Counter Abduction and Human Trafficking Law; Article 516 of the Penal Code (38, 40, 41)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Article 8.2 of the Counter Abduction and Human Trafficking Law; Article 516 of the Penal Code (40, 41)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Article 18.2 of the Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women; Article 427 of the Penal Code (41, 42)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

List of Prohibited Jobs for Child Laborers; Article 23 of the Counter Narcotics Law (39, 43)

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

N/A*

 

 

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

18

Presidential Decree, 2003 (44)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

15‡

Article 17 of the Education Law (45)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 17 of the Education Law (45)

* No conscription (44)
‡ Age calculated based on available information (46)

Afghan law does not comprehensively protect children from commercial sexual exploitation. While the 2009 Elimination of Violence Against Women Act protects girls from forced prostitution, it does not mention boys.(42) The legal framework does not adequately criminalize the possession or distribution of child pornography specifically or include increased penalties for the possession or distribution child pornography. In addition, although the Penal Code sets forth increased penalties for sex acts with boys, it does not specifically address the practice of bacha bazi and the associated sexual exploitation, including touching, massaging, and forced dancing in public and private ceremonies.(41) Pending amendments to the Penal Code include measures that criminalize the practice of bacha bazi, including forcing a child to dance.(28)

The Counter Abduction and Human Trafficking Law requires the elements of force, fraud, or coercion for trafficking of a child, which is inconsistent with international standards.(40) Although forced labor and child trafficking are illegal, research did not find criminalization of debt bondage.

Additionally, laws related to illicit activities are not sufficient as the use, procuring, and offering of a child for the production of drugs are not prohibited.

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

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

Respond to complaints of child labor and refer cases to the Attorney General’s Office.(47)

Child Protection Action Network (CPAN)

A coalition of Government agencies, NGOs, and community and religious leaders conducts child labor inspections and refers children engaged in hazardous child labor to NGO and Government shelters that provide protection and social services.(6)

Ministry of the Interior

Enforce laws related to child trafficking, the use of children in illicit activities, and child sexual exploitation.(6)

National Directorate of Security

Identify human trafficking victims and refer these cases to the Ministry of the Interior.(48)

Attorney General’s Office

Investigate and prosecute human trafficking and abduction cases.(48)

Ministry of Women’s Affairs

Register abduction and human trafficking cases, and provide support to child labor and trafficking victims.(6, 48)

 

Labor Law Enforcement

Research did not find information on whether labor law enforcement agencies in Afghanistan took actions to combat the worst forms of child labor.

Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Labor Inspectors

Unknown

18 (6)

Number of Child Labor Dedicated Inspectors

19 (46)

Unknown

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

Unknown

No (6)

Training for Labor Inspectors

   

Initial Training for New Employees

Unknown

No (6)

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

Unknown

N/A

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown

No (6)

Number of Labor Inspections

350 (46)

Unknown

Number Conducted at Worksite

Unknown

Unknown

Number Conducted by Desk Reviews

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Child Labor Violations for which Penalties were Imposed

Unknown

0 (6)

Number of Penalties Imposed that were Collected

Unknown

N/A

Routine Inspections Conducted

Unknown

Yes (6)

Routine Inspections Targeted

Unknown

Yes (6)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Unknown

Yes (6)

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Unknown

Unknown

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Unknown

Yes (47)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Unknown

Yes (6)

 

In 2015, MoLSAMD employed 18 labor inspectors. According to the ILO recommendation of 1 inspector for every 40,000 workers in less developed economies, Afghanistan should employ about 200 inspectors to adequately enforce labor laws throughout the country.(6, 49-51) Government officials, NGOs, and UNICEF acknowledge that the number of labor inspectors is insufficient. Labor inspectors do not have legal authority to enforce child labor laws.(6) Business owners are not required to allow unannounced inspections.(6)

MoLSAMD, in cooperation with the Child Protection Action Network (CPAN), can respond to complaints of child labor, investigate cases, and issue warnings or refer the case to the General Attorney’s office. A person wishing to file a complaint must specify the legal grounds for labor violations in writing.(47)

The primary mechanism for responding to child labor cases is CPAN. In 2014, 19 CPAN technical advisors conducted 350 child labor inspections across Afghanistan.(46) Updated information for 2015 is not available.

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2015, criminal law enforcement agencies in Afghanistan took actions to combat the worst forms of child labor (Table 7).

Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Training for Investigators

   

Initial Training for New Employees

Unknown

Unknown

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

Unknown

Unknown

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown

Yes (6)

Number of Investigations

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Violations Found

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Convictions

Unknown

Unknown

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Unknown

Yes (6)

 

In 2015, the Ministry of the Interior employed two officers in each anti-human-trafficking unit throughout Afghanistan’s 34 provinces; however, the priority of these units is to combat human smuggling, rather than combating the worst forms of child labor. Government officials stated that they lacked equipment and transportation to carry out investigations.(6) In 2014, the Government issued a directive that calls for the enforcement of the Law on Human Trafficking to ensure that victims of human trafficking receive appropriate social services instead of being prosecuted for violations of Afghan law.(35) During the reporting period, however, victims of human trafficking were routinely prosecuted and convicted of crimes. Some Government officials are complicit in the lack of prosecutions of individuals who subject boys to bacha bazi.(4) Male child victims of human trafficking, especially those who were engaged in commercial sexual exploitation or were used as child soldiers, were sometimes referred to juvenile detention and rehabilitation facilities, and they did not receive appropriate victim support services.(28, 52) The UN noted that some children, detained in juvenile rehabilitation centers as a result of their association with armed groups, reported being subjected to torture and ill treatment.(52)

In 2015, the President ordered the creation of a committee to investigate and prosecute cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children by security forces.(28) Based on Government statistics for 2015, 41 cases of human trafficking were investigated, leading to 38 prosecutions and 33 convictions; however, it is not known how many of these cases involved child victims.(6)

Although the Government of Afghanistan has established coordinating mechanisms to address certain forms of child labor, research found no evidence of an overall mechanism to combat child labor, including all its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & 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 and comprising the National Directorate of Security; the Attorney General’s Office; the Afghan Independent Bar Association; the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission; the Afghan Women Skills Development Center; and nine Government ministries, including MoLSAMD, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.(6, 48)

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 Task Force on Children and Armed Conflict, which comprises UN and NGO members.(53)

The Government of Afghanistan has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 9).

Table 9. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Strategy for Children at Risk

Creates a framework to support at-risk children and their families with new and existing social services, develops a strategic plan to build the capacity of child-based organizations into broader family- and community-based institutions, 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.(54)

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.(55)

Road Map Toward Full Compliance of the Action Plan for the Prevention of Underage Recruitment

Supports and expedites implementation of the Action Plan for the Prevention of Underage Recruitment. Identifies 15 priority areas, including criminalization of the recruitment and use of children by national security forces, development of a policy to protect children arrested and detained on national security-related charges, improved age verification procedures, establishment of a national monitoring system, and endorsement of a national birth registration strategy.(6, 52)

National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons (2014–2015)

Aimed to improve the anti-trafficking legal framework, prevent prosecution of trafficking victims, increase awareness about the trafficking of male children, and improve victim rehabilitation programs for boys.(56)

National Labor Policy

Includes objectives to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, including those in hazardous activities; pass legislation prohibiting child labor; and effectively enforce child labor laws.(17)

In 2015, the Government of Afghanistan funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 10).

Table 10. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Project to Prevent Child Labor in Home-Based Carpet Production in Afghanistan (2013–2017)

$2 million, USDOL-funded 4-year, project implemented by GoodWeave. Aims to build market preferences for child labor-free Afghan carpets, contributes to evidence-based knowledge of child labor in the Afghanistan carpet sector, and increases public awareness and engagement on the issue of child labor in the Afghan carpet sector.(57) In 2015, GoodWeave provided educational services, including extracurricular classes, to 134 children, and livelihood and health services to 43 households. With more time dedicated to educational activities, children have less time to engage in child labor in carpet weaving.(58)

Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labor (CLEAR)*

USDOL-funded capacity-building project implemented by the ILO in at least 10 countries to build local and national capacity of the Government to address child labor. Aims to improve monitoring and enforcement of laws and policies related to child labor and the implementation of the National Strategy for Children at Risk.(59)

Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program

Promotes the reintegration of former insurgents back into their communities. Child insurgents are referred to the Ministry of the Interior’s child correction centers.(28)

Age Verification of New Afghan National Security Forces Recruits†

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, National Directorate of Security, 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 18 by carefully screening applicants.(60) In an effort to address the use of the fraudulent IDs by children, the process includes an ID check and a requirement that at least two community elders vouch that a recruit is at least age 18 and is eligible to join the Afghan National Security Forces.(61) Implemented by the Afghan National Police in Badghis, Herat, Laghman, Nangarhar, and Nimroz provinces, the pilot program seeks to enforce the Ministry of the Interior National Birth Registration Strategy, which aims to prevent recruitment of children into the armed forces.(28)

Trafficking Shelters†

MoLSAMD-funded, NGO-operated shelter for human trafficking victims. Provides food, clothing, medical care, counseling, psychosocial support, and vocational and academic training. MoLSAMD registers victims and provides reintegration assistance.(6) An additional shelter is available for boy victims of human trafficking in Kabul, funded by the USDOS and operated by Hagar International.(6)

Counter-Trafficking Program

USDOS-funded project implemented by Hagar International in collaboration with the IOM. Provides counter-trafficking training for law enforcement officials in four provinces and aims to facilitate information sharing and collaboration on counter-trafficking activities between government and civil society actors.(35, 62)

Safety Nets and Pensions Support Project (2009–2016)

$7.5 million World Bank-funded, 7-year project, implemented by MoLSAMD, provides cash support on a case-by-case basis to poor families with children under age 5 in three provinces. Targets highly impoverished families, including children who are at risk of child labor.(6)

Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (2014–2016)

$496 million WFP-funded $496 million, 3-year project, enhances food security and nutrition for 3.7 million beneficiaries in 184 food insecure districts. Assists people affected by conflict, natural disaster, or economic stress by providing food, vouchers, or cash. Provides targeted children with supplementary feeding, supports schools to increase enrollment and attendance, and provides adults with vocational training.(63)

* Program was launched during the reporting period.
† Program is funded by the Government of Afghanistan.

The Government opened three new Children Protection Units, bringing the total to seven throughout the country, which prevent the enlistment of children into the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.(7) Between March 2015 and March 2016, the Government prevented the enlistment of more than 1,100 children.(64)

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. Research found that shelters and support services for male child trafficking victims older than age 10 were particularly limited.(33)

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Afghanistan (Table 9).

Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Ensure that laws protect all children, including boys, from commercial sexual exploitation.

2013 – 2015

Ensure that laws clearly prohibit the production, distribution, benefiting from, and possession of child pornography.

2014 – 2015

Ensure that the definition of child trafficking does not require an element of force or coercion in different stages of human trafficking.

2011 – 2015

Ensure that debt bondage is criminally prohibited.

2015

Ensure laws criminally prohibit procuring and offering of a child for illicit activities.

2015

Enforcement

Collect and make publicly available information on labor inspectorate funding; the number of CPAN technical advisors dedicated to child labor inspections; the number of labor inspections, including those conducted at worksites and by desk reviews; the number of child labor violations identified; and whether unannounced inspections were conducted.

2015

Authorize the inspectorate to assess penalties for violations of Afghan law.

2015

Ensure that the labor inspectorate receives training on child labor.

2011 – 2015

Increase the number of labor inspectors responsible for enforcing laws related to child labor to provide adequate coverage of the workforce.

2011 – 2015

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

2014 – 2015

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

Make publicly available data on the training system of criminal investigators, as well as the numbers of investigations, violations, prosecutions, and convictions for all crimes involving the worst forms of child labor.

2011 – 2015

Ensure that investigators are available to enforce criminal laws involving all of the worst forms of child labor.

2014 – 2015

Ensure that criminal law enforcement agencies have the necessary equipment and transportation to enforce laws involving the worst forms of child labor.

2012 – 2015

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 they are referred to appropriate social services, and that children held in juvenile detention or rehabilitation facilities are not subject to mistreatment or torture.

2014 – 2015

Coordination

Establish coordinating mechanisms to combat child labor, including all its worst forms.

2013 – 2015

Social Programs

Institute a birth registration campaign.

2015

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

2014 – 2015

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

2009 – 2015

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

2010 – 2015

1.         UNICEF. Strategic Programme Framework for ILO-UNICEF Support to National Efforts to Progressively Eliminate Child Labour and Bonded Labour in Brick Kilns in Afghanistan; December 15, 2012.

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

3.         Sabory, G. "Nangarhar Women and Children Forced into Slavery Over Loans." Tolo News [online] April 12, 2015 [cited January 11, 2016]; http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/19025-nangarhar-women-and-children-forced-into-slavery-over-loans.

4.         U.S. Department of State. "Afghanistan," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2015. Washington, DC; July 27, 2015; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2015/243379.htm.

5.         Gupta, P. "Q&A: The Taliban's child soldiers in Kunduz." Al Jazeera [online] October 14, 2015 [cited January 7, 2016]; http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/qa-taliban-child-soldiers-kunduz-151014110739457.html.

6.         U.S. Embassy- Kabul. reporting, January 31, 2016.

7.         UN General Assembly Security Council. Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (A/70/836–S/2016/360) April 20, 2016. http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/360.

8.         UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed December 16, 2015]; http://data.uis.unesco.org/. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. This ratio is the total number of new entrants in the last grade of primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population at the theoretical entrance age to the last grade of primary. A high ratio indicates a high degree of current primary education completion. Because the calculation includes all new entrants to last grade (regardless of age), the ratio can exceed 100 percent, due to over-aged and under-aged children who enter primary school late/early and/or repeat grades. For more information, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

9.         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 December 18, 2015. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor.  For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

10.       Butt, K. "Illicit Drug Production: Balochistan Madrassa Students Harvest Poppy on Holidays." The Express Tribune, Karachi, August 5, 2011. http://tribune.com.pk/story/224821/illicit-drug-production-balochistan-madrassa-students-harvest-poppy-on-holidays/.

11.       Gannon, K. "After Record Opium Year, Afghans Plant New Crop." Associated Press [online] 2013 [cited April 10, 2014]; http://bigstory.ap.org/article/un-says-afghan-opium-production-hits-record-high.

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

13.       Xinhua General News Service. "Afghan children are victims of continuing insurgency in Afghanis." [online] May 31, 2015 [cited January 11, 2016]; http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2015/06/01/afghan-children-are-victims-of-continuing-insurgency-in-afghanistan.html.

14.       Veda Khamoush, S. "Hazardous work and violations of childrens rights." Pajhwok November 9, 2013 [cited January 7, 2016]; http://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.

16.       Samuel Hall Consulting. Cutting the Threads? Assessing Child Labour in the Afghan Carpet Production. Kabul, GoodWeave International; June 2014.

17.       Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled. National Labor Policy; 2012. http://www.newunionism.net/library/national%20data/Afghanistan%201-2012.pdf.

18.       U.S. Embassy- Kabul. reporting, January 26, 2011.

19.       Nissenbaum, D. "Teenager Films Afghan Child Labor- School Documentary Project Seeks to Illuminate Open Secret: Young Boys at Work in Remote Coal Mines." Wall Street Journal- Eastern Edition, New York, July 14, 2012; World News. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303640804577491511393159548.html.

20.       Nichols, M. "Afghanistan Vows to "Set Standards" on Child Labor in Mines." Reuters [online] August 12, 2011 [cited 2014]; http://ca.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=CATRE77B12V20110812.

21.       Azizi, MS. "Afghan miners killed in coal mine collapse." Al Jazeera [online] September 15, 2013 [cited March 9, 2016]; http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/09/201391563752759330.html.

22.       Amini, K. "Child Labor in Samangan Coal Mines." Tolo News [online] March 5, 2015 [cited January 11, 2016]; http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/18485-child-labor-in-samangan-coal-mines.

23.       ILO. Buried in Bricks: a Rapid Assessment of Bonded Labour in Brick Kilns in Afghanistan; February 6, 2012. http://www.ilo.org/asia/whatwedo/publications/WCMS_172671/lang--en/index.htm.

24.       U.S. Embassy- Kabul official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. June 14, 2013.

25.       UNICEF. Child Notice Afghanistan. New York; January 2013. http://www.refworld.org/docid/5124c09e2.html.

26.       Adeli, B. "Afghanistan: Child Street Workers Vulnerable to Abuse." Institute for War and Peace Reporting [online] October 15, 2011 [cited February 19, 2016]; http://iwpr.net/global-voices/afghan-child-workers-vulnerable-abuse.

27.       Iskander, A, M Shohjamlov. Tajik Law Opens Window for Young Afghan Drug Smugglers, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, [online] April 4, 2010 [cited March 1, 2013]; http://www.rferl.org/content/Tajik_Law_Opens_Window_For_Young_Afghan_Drug_Smugglers/2002156.html.

28.       U.S. Embassy- Kabul. reporting, February 1, 2016.

29.       Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. A Study on the causes of trafficking of women and children in Afghanistan; November, 2011. http://www.aihrc.org.af/home/research_report/1403.

30.       U.S. Embassy- Kabul. reporting, February 26, 2013.

31.       Human Rights Watch. "I Had to Run Away" The Imprisonment of Women and Girls for "Moral Crimes" in Afghanistan. New York; March 2012. http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/afghanistan0312webwcover_0.pdf.

32.       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.

33.       Thorson, J. Forgotten No More: Male Child Trafficking in Afghanistan. Kabul; October 2013. http://hagarinternational.org/australia/files/Forgotten-No-More.pdf.

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

35.       U.S. Embassy- Kabul. reporting, February 16, 2015

36.       UN Secretary-General. Children and Armed Conflict Report:  Report of the Secretary-General A/68/878–S/2014/339; May 15, 2014. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=a/68/878.

37.       U.S. Department of State official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. May 24, 2016.

38.       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.

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

40.       Government of Afghanistan. Counter Abduction and Human Trafficking Law, enacted July 15, 2008. https://www.unodc.org/res/cld/document/afg/2008/law_on_the_campaigns_against_abduction_and_human_trafficking_html/Law_on_Campaign_Against_Abduction_and_Human_Trafficking_OG_0952_2008_EN_formatted.doc.

41.       Government of Afghanistan. Penal Code, enacted 1976.

42.       Government of Afghanistan. Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women, enacted 2009.

43.       Government of Afghanistan. Counter Narcotics Law, enacted December 17, 2005. http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c1f343b2.html.

44.       Child Soldiers International. "Appendix II: Data Summary on Recruitment Ages of National Armies," in Louder Than Words, An Agenda for Action to End State Use of Child Soldiers. London; 2012; http://www.child-soldiers.org/user_uploads/pdf/appendix2datasummarytableonrecruitmentagesofnationalarmies9687452.pdf.

45.       Government of Afghanistan. Education Law, enacted July 1, 2008. http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/upload/Afghanistan/Afghanistan_Education_law.pdf.

46.       U.S. Embassy- Kabul. reporting, February 8, 2015

47.       U.S. Embassy- Kabul official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. February 23, 2016.

48.       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). Kabul; February 10, 2014.

49.       CIA. The World Factbook, [online] [cited March 18, 2016]; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2095.html#131. Data provided is the most recent estimate of the country’s total labor force. This number is used to calculate a “sufficient number” of labor inspectors based on the country’s level of development as determined by the UN.

50.       ILO. Strategies and Practice for Labour Inspection (GB.297/ESP/3). Geneva, Committee on Employment and Social Policy; November 2006. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/gb/docs/gb297/pdf/esp-3.pdf. Article 10 of ILO Convention No. 81 calls for a “sufficient number” of inspectors to do the work required. As each country assigns different priorities of enforcement to its inspectors, there is no official definition for a “sufficient” number of inspectors. Amongst the factors that need to be taken into account are the number and size of establishments and the total size of the workforce. No single measure is sufficient but in many countries the available data sources are weak. The number of inspectors per worker is currently the only internationally comparable indicator available. In its policy and technical advisory services, the ILO has taken as reasonable benchmarks that the number of labor inspectors in relation to workers should approach: 1/10,000 in industrial market economies; 1/15,000 in industrializing economies; 1/20,000 in transition economies; and 1/40,000 in less developed countries.

51.       UN. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012 Statistical Annex. New York; 2012. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wesp/wesp_current/2012country_class.pdf. For analytical purposes, the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (UN/DESA) classifies all countries of the world into one of three broad categories: developed economies, economies in transition, and developing countries. The composition of these groupings is intended to reflect basic economic country conditions. Several countries (in particular the economies in transition) have characteristics that could place them in more than one category; however, for purposes of analysis, the groupings have been made mutually exclusive. The list of the least developed countries is decided upon by the United Nations Economic and Social Council and, ultimately, by the General Assembly, on the basis of recommendations made by the Committee for Development Policy. The basic criteria for inclusion require that certain thresholds be met with regard to per capita GNI, a human assets index and an economic vulnerability index. For the purposes of the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor Report, “developed economies” equate to the ILO’s classification of “industrial market economies; “economies in transition” to “transition economies,” “developing countries” to “industrializing economies, and “the least developed countries” equates to “less developed countries.” For countries that appear on both “developing countries” and “least developed countries” lists, they will be considered “least developed countries” for the purpose of calculating a “sufficient number” of labor inspectors.

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

53.       United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Afghanistan: Government, UN sign plan to stop under-age recruits in security forces, UN, [online] January 30, 2011 [cited February 3, 2015]; http://reliefweb.int/report/afghanistan/afghanistan-government-un-sign-plan-stop-under-age-recruits-security-forces.

54.       Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled. National Strategy for Children ‘at-risk’; 2004 http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session5/AF/AFG_Afghanistan_National_Strategy_for_Children_at-risk.pdf.

55.       Government of Afghanistan. Action Plan regarding Children associated with National Security Forces in Afghanistan; 2011 March 30,.

56.       Government of Afghanistan. Anti-Trafficking Action Plan for Afghanistan; 2014-2015.

57.       GoodWeave International. Project to Prevent Child Labor in Home-Based Carpet Production in Afghanistan. Washington, DC; August 1, 2013.

58.       GoodWeave International. Project to Prevent Child Labor in Home-Based Carpet Production in Afghanistan. Technical Progress Report. Kabul; October 2015.

59.       ILO-IPEC. Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labor (CLEAR). Technical Progress Report. Geneva; October 2015.

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

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

62.       Hagar International. Hagar Afghanistan and IOM Deliver Counter Trafficking Training, Hagar International, [online] December 16, 2014 [cited May 11, 2015]; http://hagarinternational.org/usa/hagar-afghanistan-and-iom-deliver-counter-trafficking-training/.

63.       United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. UN World Food Programme Scheme to Support 3.7 million Food-Insecure Afghans through 2016, UN, [online ] 2013 [cited February 19, 2014]; http://unama.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=12254&ctl=Details&mid=15756&ItemID=37651&language=en-US.

64.       U.S. Embassy- Kabul official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. May 26, 2016.