News - Afghanistan
Afghanistan is home to around 1 million orphans with most of them living in poverty, posing a largely unaddressed threat to security, the Islamic Relief Afghanistan (IRA) told TOLOnews on Tuesday.
On the occasion of Universal Children's Day (Nov 20), IRA country director Fadlullah Wilmot said the plight of children living in poverty sees many of them turn to crime.
"I would say of the one million orphans in Afghanistan, 95 percent are living in poverty," he said at the sidelines of a conference in Kabul discussing the state of vulnerable children in the country and the world.
He warned that if the disastrous situation of Afghan children does not change, they are more likely to become criminals and thieves which will challenge Afghanistan's future.
Apart from the orphans, there are also numerous children forced to be breadwinners for the family with harsh jobs.
"I sell chewing gum and give the money to my mother to spend in the family," a child on the street told TOLOnews.
Head of Orphanages in the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, Sayed Abdullah Hashimi said that still thousands of children are working in the streets.
"I think we could have solved the problems if we had had a good policy in the last ten years. Unfortunately, there was not such program," he said.
He added that the children working outside the home, apart from missing out on an education, face many threats including brutal violence like rape, and human trafficking.
They are also more likely to be groomed to be suicide attackers, he said.