Feature: War-ravaged Afghan children work on streets to make a living

“I have no choice but to work on streets to earn a livelihood and support my family,” shrugged a 13-year-old boy who introduced himself as Bashir.
Revealing his ordeal, young Bashir, like many Afghan kids, bears one name and acts as a traffic guide at the busy Malik Asghar square to help trapped cars out of the traffic jam.
He told Xinhua that his father was killed in a suicide bombing three years ago, and he had to quit school and work on the street to support his family.
“The lingering war has devoured the country, and the death of my father has deprived me and my whole family of happiness,” Bashir said.
He hoped that one day peace could finally reach this place and he could stand on his feet.
The prolonged war and civil strife have deprived millions of Afghan children of their right for education. Many Afghan children have been killed, maimed and orphaned due to the protracted war in the country.
According to statistics compiled by UNICEF, an estimated 3.7 million children are out-of-school in Afghanistan due to security incidents, poverty and cultural barriers, and 60 percent of them are girls.
In the first half of 2018 alone, 363 children were reportedly killed in armed attacks, while 992 others injured.
There are about 2.3 million street children in Afghanistan, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and half of them are engaged in forced labor such as brick making, car washing and shoe polishing.
“I quitted school two years ago. Since then I have been working on the streets in Kabul and polishing shoes to earn a living and support my family to survive,” an 11-year-old boy named Abdul Baqi, who also lost his father in a suicide car bomb two years ago, told Xinhua.
(Xinhua)

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