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Editorial: How to overcome child vulnerability

Afghanistan continues to identify as the worst place to be born in the world. Problems such as mortality, malnutrition, forced marriages, sexual abuse plus extreme poverty, violence and etc… are the heinous issues that the Afghan children are subject to on a daily basis. The child mortality rate is also very high and the number of children out of school is particularly high with an uncertain future awaiting them as illiteracy is the core root of all the problems. Children are also engaged in labor work in order to provide a repast for themselves and for their family. Children are mainly engaged in street vendors, cardboard collectors, water carriers, shoe polishers, taxi solicitors, work in boutiques, supermarkets etc…. Since over half of the Afghan populations are living under the poverty line, these children are playing an important economic role because their parents, those who have, because many of them lost their father and mother, or both due to over four decades of endless war, it is hard enough for them to feed the hungry mouths in the family. When the children lose their breadwinners, or their family scrambles with scant resources, they rely upon the economic contribution of the child, no matter how hard that job would be for an innocent child to do. Even they don’t hesitate to beg on the streets just to bring some bread home. We should also not forget the police violence that mainly these street vendor children are facing. Sometimes police start beating them without any reason, which is heart-wrenching and unjustifiable. The biggest problem is that 20 years have passed since the flow of the international community and the US with billions of dollars, Afghanistan is still the most dangerous place in the world for a child to be born. Actually it’s now a dangerous place for every Afghan; even the passengers are not safe. 12 civilians have lost their lives and 13 more received injuries in twin back-to-back blasts targeting two buses in PD 3rd, in western part of Kabul city on Tuesday evening. Growing insecurity is also making it very hard for the government and international agencies advocating for the equal rights of the children, to carry out vital programs and chalk out a comprehensive plan to at least help some of these children. Five million vulnerable children are at high risk, and they need urgent support. UNICEF has tagged Afghanistan as the World’s worst country for children. It is the responsibility of the conflicting parties not only to discharge their moral obligations honestly but also disengage ways to let the children enjoy their childhood without any fear, and let them go to schools and have access to the health centers, and most importantly let the humanitarian agencies help them.

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