An annual report by Save the Children shows that war, poverty and discrimination have greatly affected the lives of children in Afghanistan.
The “End of Childhood Index Ranking” of the organization features 175 countries. The index scores reflect the average level of performance across a set of eight indicators related to child health, education, labor, marriage, childbirth and violence. The only reason a country was not included in this analysis was insufficient data, the organization says.
The report states Afghanistan as being the 16th worst country for children in the world.
According to the report, at least 3.5 million children in Afghanistan have been deprived of education and almost two million others are manual laborers.
Most of the children are from vulnerable families who don’t have the ability to pay for their education or give them a better life.
Isa is a child in one of those families in Afghanistan who is the only breadwinner for his family. His father is ill and cannot work.
“I work here every day to earn bread for my family,” Isa said.
“I don’t have anyone at home to work. I have to work,” said Husain, a child.
A comparison of scores shows that 95 countries have made progress in the past year in creating conditions for children to have full and stable childhoods.
These successes show that many relatively poor countries are making progress, and political choices can matter more than national wealth.
End of Childhood Index scores for 58 countries declined (42 of them raising its score 21 points, from 680 to 701), mostly by getting more children into school.
India’s reduced rate of child marriage helped increase its score 14 points, from 754 to 768. Afghanistan’s score fell 10 points, from 602 to 592, because of conflict-related displacement and children out of school.
“War, poverty and discrimination are the three criteria which unfortunately shows children’s situation to be worse than last year,” said Mariam Atahi, spokesperson for Save the Children.