AT-KABUL: Provincial directorate of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission’s (AIHRC) in Herat province has expressed concerns over child trafficking to Iran
The office said that trafficking of children, under 18 years of age, to Iran is still a great concern of the AIHRC.
Chief of Human Rights Commission in Herat, Sayed Abdul Qader Rahimi, accused the government of negligence, adding that the government has failed to prevent the mafia from trafficking children to Iran via illegal and dangerous ways. He said that that despite repeated requests of the AIHRC the government has not paid attention to the child trafficking.
He said that every day around 20 children are returning from Afghan-Iran border in Herat and Nimroz provinces.
“The issue shows that smuggling of children is still a great challenge and there is not end to this problem,” he said.
He added that most of the children are smuggled to Iran on pretext of job.
Last year the human rights’ office in Herat said that child trafficking to Iran increased by ten percent.
Besides child trafficking, use of children by drug cartels is also a serious issue. According AIHRC, a number of children are used for selling heroin and hashish in parts of Kabul and a number of other provinces.
The AHRC officials urged security agencies to prevent drugs dealing inside the city and not let drugs dealers to use and involve children in their illicit business.
Drugs runners not only use children in smuggling but also in a number of cases they sexually abuse these children. Based on the AIHRC statistics shared with media last year, there are nearly 300,000 children who have headed towards the illegal business of drugs dealing in Afghanistan, which is a matter of serious concern.
Insecurity and joblessness are two major reasons behind miseries of the children. Around two million children have been pushed into the streets to work and augment their families’ income.
Minister of Public Health told Afghanistan Times that over 40 percent children suffer from malnutrition.
During an interview in December 2015, Ferozuddin Feroz said that most of the food items imported from neighboring countries lack micronutrients (essential vitamins) and has created a serious public health problem for Afghans. He said that currently 45 percent children are suffering from maturation and 95 percent women are faced with lack of vitamin D fortification.
He said that Afghanistan imports 90 percent of its food necessities from neighboring countries and the food stuffs are not fortified with micronutrients.
“All the edible items that are imported from neighboring countries not only lack essential vitamins but are also harmful for health. For instance, the cooking oil is very dangerous,” he mentioned.
He termed lack of a particular law as a major challenge in front of the ministry to prevent the low-quality food items from making way to Afghan markets. The minister said that the MoPH alone could not deal with the challenge but support of other relevant organizations is necessary.
Experts believe that children are the worst-affected segment of the Afghan society.