Child labor has increased in the southern province of Helmand, residents said, adding that it is due to a sharp rise in poverty in the country.
“I work to find the money to pay the rent and I earn around 100 Afs every day,” said Bismillah, a resident of Lashkargah city, the center of Helmand.
“My leg and back hurt, and I've been doing this for two years,” Zabiullah, a resident of Helmand told TOLOnews.
Families of the children stated that because of economic hardships, they were forced to send their children to work.
“I’m doing this because I’m destitute, my teaching salary is not sufficient, the prices have increased,” said Mohammad Omar, a resident of Lashkargah city.
“Due to economic challenges, every family is forced to send their children to hard labor,” said Abdul Satar, another resident of Lashkargah city.
Officials from the labor and social affairs directorate of Helmand said that at least 20% of children in the province are engaged in labor.
“We intend to begin a survey on child labor and will provide the opportunity for them to get an education,” said Habiburahman Dindost, director of Helmand’s department of Labor.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Afghanistan previously referred to the situation of Afghan children as being more worrying than ever.