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Displaced people in Herat selling daughters to make livelihood

AT-KABUL: The internally displaced families in the western province of Herat are selling their child daughters to make money and save other members of the families, local official said Saturday.

“We have so far registered 72 cases of girls selling by their parents in Herat and other adjacent provinces under the pretext of marriage. The children who have been sold are under the age of 12 years old,” said Abdul Qayyoum Afghan, head of provincial labor and social affairs department.

The displaced families confirm the reports, with Akhtar Mohammad, a displaced person, saying that “heads of the families were unable to feed other members of the families, so they have to sell their small daughters for 45,000 to 50,000 Afghanis (less than 800 US dollars) and continue lives of other members of families through the money.”

Other displaced persons say they are ready to sell their young daughters and are waiting for buyers. “I have a small daughter and want to sell her to anyone who is ready to buy her. I have to sell her because of famine and starvation threatening us. Our children are dying and we have to sell our daughters. Anyone who gives me 50,000 to 60,000 Afghanis, can take my daughter,” said Mohammad Eiwaz Fardi, another displaced person who has moved from the Qades district of the neighboring province of Badghis to Herat city.

Some 16,000 families have been displaced from the provinces of Badghis, Ghor and Fariab to Herat city since the past six months due to drought and famine in their home villages. They are living under tents in different parts of the city.

Head of provincial disaster management department, Abdul Hamid Mobarez Hamidi, said that 12,000 of these families had received essential assistance. “Half of the population from our adjacent provinces will move to Herat if assistance is not distributed to them in their villages,” said Hamidi.

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