ReliefWeb reliefweb.int 10 Jun, 2021 21:30 am

Addressing Child Labour through a Protection Response for Undocumented Returnees - Afghanistan

Addressing Child Labour through a Protection Response for Undocumented Returnees - Afghanistan
English News and Press Release on Afghanistan about Protection and Human Rights; published on 10 Jun 2021 by IOM

Child labour is a priority protection concern in Afghanistan with some estimates showing that more than half of children aged 5 to 17 are engaged in work of some kind (AIHRC, 2018).Children in Afghanistan endure some of the worst forms of child labour from being recruited into the armed conflict, to the production of bricks and carpets, as well as in agriculture, mines, and most visibly on the streets as beggars, shoe shiners and porters/vendors.The 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) for Afghanistan indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation further as loss of livelihoods, coupled with school closures in 2020 to contain the spread of the virus, likely precipitated increases in child labour.The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Protection Monitoring data shows that undocumented returnees increasingly turned to child labour to support their households during the course of the last year (from 19% reported in May-July 2020 to 35% in January 2021).

To mitigate the protection risks faced by Noorullah and his family, including child labour, the caseworker provided cash assistance enabling them to buy some essentials for their home – a buhari [a traditional wood-fired heater] and fuel for heating, a solar lamp for lighting the home – and enough to pay back their debts.By reducing the economic vulnerability of the household, the protection risks associated with child labour and diversion from education were averted.

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