KABUL: Cold weather, poverty and starvation in the western province of Herat force Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) to sell their children to make livelihood and heating stuff for the rest of family members. Selling of IDP children is increasing as unemployment and poverty more pressure them.
These people have been displaced from neighboring provinces of Badghis, Ghor and Faryab to Herat due to insecurity and drought.
Abdul Ghaffar, who has been displaced from Badghis to Herat, says he sold one of his eight children to provide food and heating stuff as he and his family live under the UN-donated tents along with thousands of other IDPs.
“I sold my two-year old daughter for 150,000 Afs (some 2,000 US dollars). I need to sell my one-year old daughter too because my family is starving.”
Some of the displaced people interview with media about selling of their children to attract attention of government and donor organizations.
Nader Shah is one of these persons who warns of selling his child if he is not helped during the winter. “I have a two years old daughter and I have to sell her for 20,000 or 30,000 Afs. We need urgent donation. Winter is coming and we need flour, blankets and cash.”
Lala Mohammad who lives under tents with other displaced people says that he would sell his five years old daughter for 50,000 Afs to save the lives of other of his children.
Government reports say that 8,900 families were displaced from Badghis and other western areas to Herat province this year due to war in their villages.
Ashraf Sadat, a civil society activist called the selling of children “a catastrophe”, saying that families have to sell their children to save other members of their families from hunger.
The United Nations said that more than 370,000 people displaced in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year.
Meanwhile, reports say that over 400,000 refugees returned home from Iran and Pakistan this year, according to government and UN reports.
22,000 people were expelled from Turkey from January to October.