The Afghan government officially started implementing the Law on Protection of Child Rights which has been passed by President Ashraf Ghani and was printed on the official gazette on March 11.
The Child Protection Act was a much-debated topic in the parliament last year, but the former MPs did not reach a consensus to approve the act over the age of children.
According to the law, boys and girls under the age of 18 are deemed as children.
The law has 16 chapters and 118 articles.
The rights of children for citizenship, identity, registration and birth, the right to be breastfed, prohibiting misuse of children, prohibiting abuse of children, having the right of freedom for children from religious minorities, the right of access to services, and the right of education are parts of the law.
Meanwhile, the law says that a pregnant woman cannot opt for abortion without any legitimate and health reason.
The law has also prohibited Bacha Bazi, the illegal practice of misuse of boys under the age of 18.
The law has also prohibited the recruitment of children as soldiers.
The law was introduced to the public by Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish at a ceremony in Kabul on Sunday where he said the children’s condition has been “shocking” over the past two years and that 44 percent of children are deprived of schools.
He said that one child died in every one hour in 2017 and that 2018 was the deadliest year for Afghan children.
“We stand by the government of Afghanistan not only to celebrate the enactment of Law of Protection of Child Rights but also to assure that we will work together to implement the law,” Danish said. “It is a historical moment. This law provides a legal framework that promotes, protects and guarantees every child’s rights, whoever they are, and wherever they live in Afghanistan.”
More than half of children don’t have adequate living standards, access to food, education, water and sanitation and other basic services are seriously limited. It's time to accelerate our efforts to reach every child, every girl and every boy in Afghanistan
“It is our responsibility to provide children quality health and education services and protect them from violence, abuse and exploitation,” Justice Minister Abdul Basir Anwari said.
Government figures show that there are at least 3.8 million vulnerable children in Afghanistan.