Because of the drought in their country, Afghan parents are selling their kids to get by. 161 children, including 6 boys, have been sold over the past four months.
These past few months, many parents from the Afghan provinces of Herat and Badghis had to sell their children off for marriage to be able to survive the droughts that are striking their country.
“Those kids are aged between one month and sixteen years old. Some of them are still babies but are already engaged”, says Allison Parker, spokeswoman for the UNICEF.
According to the Afghan civil code article 70, legal marriage age for girls is 16 and 18 for boys, which means all those unions are against the law.
“Why would you sell a piece of your heart unless you don’t have the choice?” states a mother who exchanged her six-year-old daughter to a man for 3000$.
At the moment, approximately 220,000 families have left their villages to go live in temporary encampments in hope of finding the urgent financial help that they are looking for. The need for money is what leads them to sell their offspring.
“It’s very shocking! People desperately need help. Especially food”, claimed the leader of Voice Of Women, Suraya Pakzad.
The lack of either rain or snow for the past few months has lowered the wheat harvest by 2.5 million tons. According to the United Nations, slightly more than two million people are in “severe food insecurity “.
In order to fight the imminent famine, the government promised to destock 60,000 tons of wheat from the country’s strategic reserves.
“It won’t be enough, but it’s a good start”, estimates the head of Ocha.
This whole situation adds up to the stress the current population of Afghanistan is going through because of the Talibans’ and Islamic State group’s attacks.
Written by: Évelyne Tremblay
Edited by: Madeline Ratté, Laurie Pronovost, Jessica Turmel and Julia Labbé