In a statement released this week, the United Nations (UN) raised concerns about the conditions facing Afghan children in 2014, highlighting research that shows 40 percent of all Afghan children face nutritional risks and many suffer direct violence spilled-over from fighting between the Afghan government and militant groups.
“2014 was devastating year for millions of children,” UNICEF Spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said. More Afghan children than in any other year were said to have been affected by poverty and violence.
“Their future is the future of this country and they have suffered serious injuries,” another UN spokesman named Aziz Frotan said
Beyond security concerns, the UN has taken issue with children’s health and living conditions, especially among child laborers. Many children in Afghanistan are breadwinners for their homes and are forced to do physical labor.
Fardin is a 14 years old who lives in Kabul, and he is the only breadwinner of his family. He works from sunrise to sunset at a car shop in order to support his six-person household.
Fardin wishes to go to school, but poverty has prevented him from that dream. “I am working here to pay the expenses of the house,” Fardin told TOLOnews.
Thousands of children around the country are like Fardin. According to the most recent statistics, more than 14 million children in Afghanistan are engaged in hard labor. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled has said six million Afghan children have no access to education.