Torture in  [Afghanistan]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Afghanistan]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Afghanistan]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Afghanistan]  [other countries]
 

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                               gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Afghanistan.htm

Afghanistan

Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflict.

Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, and the Afghan Government's inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. It will probably take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise Afghanistan's living standards from its current level, among the lowest in the world.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Afghan boys and girls are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage to settle debts or disputes, forced begging, as well as forced labor or debt bondage in brick kilns, carpet-making factories, and domestic service. Afghan children are also trafficked to Iran and Pakistan for forced labor, particularly in Pakistan’s carpet factories, and forced marriage.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   [full country report]

 

CAUTION: The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Afghanistan.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLES ***

Out Of Money? Sell Your Daughter

Haytullah Gaheez, Jewish World Review, February 16, 2005

www.jewishworldreview.com/0205/selling_daughters.php3?printer_friendly

[accessed 18 January 2011]

Zeva's eyes filled with tears as the 10-year-old's father took her by the arm and handed her over to the man from whom he had borrowed 50,000 afghanis, or about $1,000.  "I cannot pay you in any other way. Take my daughter," said Gul Miran, 42, a farmer in Nangarhar province.

Like many other farmers in Afghanistan, Gul Miran had planned to pay back the loan with the proceeds from his crop of poppies, which would eventually be turned into heroin. But as part of its stepped-up effort to combat the drug trade in the country, the government had ploughed under his fields, and Gul Miran was left with nothing.

"I accepted the girl in return for my loan," said Haji Naqibullah, who had advanced Gul Miran the money. "We had an agreement. He would (pay me back) regardless of whether his crops were wiped out by the weather or by the government.

"In a year or 18 months I will marry her off to my youngest son," he said. "He is 19 years old and has been married to his first wife for two years but has not had a child yet."

Afghan carpet weavers are unpaid slaves, rights activist says

Syrian Arab News Agency SANA, December 1, 2005

www.rawa.org/carpet.htm

[accessed 18 January 2011]

AFGHANISTAN: CARPET WEAVERS ARE UNPAID SLAVES, RIGHTS ACTIVIST SAYS - Thousands of women and girls who weave world famous Afghan carpets are treated as unpaid slaves by their male relatives, a rights activist said.  The women and girls, some as young as 11, spend up to 18 hours at wooden looms in dusty, dark and wet rooms.

Women choose death over marriage

James Astill in Kabul, Iranian.ws, Apr 2, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 September 2011]

"Every minute of every day, she was fetching water, growing crops, looking after animals and children, cleaning the house. She was patient, but it was too much for her: she was educated and sensitive. She found it hard to live like a slave."

She was not alone in her suffering, nor in the agonising way she chose to die. Anecdotal evidence suggests several hundred young women are burning themselves to death in western Afghanistan every year.

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

AFGHANISTAN: Lack of institutional mechanisms to tackle human trafficking

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Kabul, 19 July 2007

www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=73300

[accessed 18 January 2011]

According to Paktiawal, among trafficking victims were tens of Afghan children, boys and girls, who had been taken to neighbouring countries for forced servitude, sexual exploitation and other illegal purposes.  Inside Afghanistan, traffickers use their minor victims for narcotics smuggling and hard labour, Afghan police said.  “Adult Afghans also fall prey to traffickers, due to widespread poverty and unemployment. The traffickers mostly exploit their victims in the regional [labour] markets,” said Paktiawal.  An official at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirmed that hundreds of young Afghans are annually trafficked to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries where they are widely exploited and used in complex forced servitude.

Human trafficking in Afghanistan; Taliban reap backlash

World War 4 Report, November 18, 2006

ww4report.com/node/2800

[accessed 18 January 2011]

Also it is reported that selling of women has become very common in Faryab province in north of Afghanistan and each woman is sold up to 50,000 Afghanis (around US$1,000).  Sharifa, head of women’s affairs department in Faryab is concerned and says that violence against woman have not been reduced but abuses and humiliation against them increase day by day.  Says explains that most of the girls sold are between 5 to 15 years old and poverty, lack of women’s rights and domestic violence are main factors behind it.

Opium Trade in Afghanistan Linked to Human Trafficking

Lisa Schlein Report, Voice of America VOA News, 04 September 2006

www.voanews.com/articleprintview/399735.html

[accessed 11 June 2013]

The IOM says children are trafficked within the country to work as beggars or as bonded labor in the brick kiln and carpet making industries. It says women and girls are kidnapped or sold for forced marriages. They are pushed into prostitution and sometimes used to settle debts or to resolve conflicts.  Internationally, IOM says Afghan women and girls are being trafficked primarily to Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

Afghan carpet weavers are unpaid slaves, rights activist says

Syrian Arab News Agency SANA, December 1, 2005

www.rawa.org/carpet.htm

[accessed 18 January 2011]

AFGHANISTAN: CARPET WEAVERS ARE UNPAID SLAVES, RIGHTS ACTIVIST SAYS - Thousands of women and girls who weave world famous Afghan carpets are treated as unpaid slaves by their male relatives, a rights activist said.  The women and girls, some as young as 11, spend up to 18 hours at wooden looms in dusty, dark and wet rooms.

Love Afghan Style: Women Are Still Being Used As Currency In The Marriage Market

Parwin Mohmand, The Women’s Reporting & Dialogue Programme, Institute for War & Peace Reporting, WPR Issue 2, Kabul, 17 Nov 2005

iwpr.net/report-news/love-afghan-style

[accessed 18 January 2011]

Zakira was given away in marriage to stop a blood feud. Her uncle had murdered a man and, rather than start a round of revenge killings between the families, 20-year-old Zakira was bestowed on the murdered man's brother who happened to be three times her age.  Forced marriages have long been a custom in Afghanistan. Daughters are used as currency to settle debts, to facilitate advantageous, if expensive, marriages for male children, or, as in Zakira's case, to settle inter-family quarrels.

Out Of Money? Sell Your Daughter

Haytullah Gaheez, Jewish World Review, February 16, 2005

www.jewishworldreview.com/0205/selling_daughters.php3?printer_friendly

[accessed 18 January 2011]

Zeva's eyes filled with tears as the 10-year-old's father took her by the arm and handed her over to the man from whom he had borrowed 50,000 afghanis, or about $1,000.  "I cannot pay you in any other way. Take my daughter," said Gul Miran, 42, a farmer in Nangarhar province.

Like many other farmers in Afghanistan, Gul Miran had planned to pay back the loan with the proceeds from his crop of poppies, which would eventually be turned into heroin. But as part of its stepped-up effort to combat the drug trade in the country, the government had ploughed under his fields, and Gul Miran was left with nothing.

"I accepted the girl in return for my loan," said Haji Naqibullah, who had advanced Gul Miran the money. "We had an agreement. He would (pay me back) regardless of whether his crops were wiped out by the weather or by the government.

"In a year or 18 months I will marry her off to my youngest son," he said. "He is 19 years old and has been married to his first wife for two years but has not had a child yet."

Freedom Or Theocracy?: Constitutionalism in Afghanistan and Iraq

Hannibal Travis, Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights, Vol.3, April 8, 2005

scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1015&context=njihr

[accessed 23 July 2013]

¶ 69  The authorities in Kandahar, Afghanistan's second largest city, continue to implement the rural Pashtun traditions that the Taliban proclaimed to be requirements of Islam.  Young girls are forced into marriage under pain of imprisonment; one received a five-year sentence for refusing to go along with an arranged marriage. The police jailed another woman for refusing to enter into a marriage with a man to whom she had been promised by her parents when she was only two years old.

New rights, but Afghan women still may face forced marriages

Associated Press, Kabul, March 14, 2005

billingsgazette.com/news/world/forced-marriages-common/article_0c3f3e9e-929f-5eae-a056-004a1e651a90.html

[accessed 28 August 2014]

Fourteen year-old Bibi has never seen the father who wants to sell her into marriage with a stranger.  She hid when he sent police to her village home in northern Afghanistan a month ago. Her elder brother Kareem refused to hand her over and was dragged off to jail. But Bibi found sanctuary with a sympathetic relative in Kabul, where she now lives in fear her father will one day catch up with her.

A Shared Suffering

Anara Tabyshalieva - The Women’s Reporting & Dialogue Programme, Institute for War & Peace Reporting, WPR Issue 1, November 17, 2005

iwpr.net/report-news/shared-suffering-0

[accessed 18 January 2011]

The custom of bride kidnapping still ruins the life of both women and men in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan, and polygamy is on the rise across the region. The practice, which is legal in Afghanistan and banned in many post-Soviet states, is currently fashionable among wealthy men.

Watchlist Country Reports | Afghanistan: Report

Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict

www.watchlist.org/reports/files/afghanistan.report.php

[accessed 18 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING AND EXPLOITATION - Female trafficking for sexual purposes is a thriving business in Afghanistan. Girls are purchased from within Afghanistan and trafficked through Pakistan for destinations in the Gulf, Iran, and elsewhere to be wives or prostitutes. According to reports from the field, young boys are also trafficked through channels leading to the Gulf area. Some children and adolescents remain in Pakistan, where distinct brothels exist for Afghans. The children most likely to be trafficked for sexual purposes are girls, those from tribal groups and ethnic minorities, stateless persons and refugees, and those living in poverty. Other incidents of trafficking of children for sexual purposes have been reported.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 5   Civil Liberties: 6   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/afghanistan

[accessed 26 June 2012]

Human Rights Overview by Human Rights Watch – Defending Human Rights Worldwide

www.hrw.org/asia/afghanistan

[accessed 18 January 2011]

We will have our say

Duncan Campbell, The Guardian,

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/jul/16/afghanistan.duncancampbell

[accessed 18 January 2011]

"But civil rights for women?" she says. "Light years off." The major problems for women remain a lack of opportunity and fear for their personal safety at home, says Le Duc. She points out that the mistreatment of women flourished under the mujahideen.

Now, she says, women who work can still be dismissed by men as "whores". "Women say that men don't know how to behave towards them," says Le Duc. "Not a week goes by without a report of a gang rape by a warlord, or a woman beaten almost to death by her husband. Women are still valued for their reproductive rather than their productive role."

2,000 former Afghan child soldiers to be demobilized and rehabilitated

UNICEF Press Centre, Kabul, 8 February 2004

www.unicef.org/media/media_19165.html

[accessed 18 January 2011]

UNICEF estimates that there a total of 8,000 former child soldiers in Afghanistan, many of whom have already left the fighting forces informally over the past year. All are in urgent need of assistance to fully reintegrate to civilian life, especially in the area of education and sustainable income-generation.

Free the Refugees

Joy Goodsell, Refugee Advocate & Sandy McCutcheon, Presenter, Radio National - Perspective, 22 March  2004

www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/perspective/joy-goodsell/3376668

[accessed 18 April 2012]

The family I stayed with showed me how they all huddled in a corner, praying that they would be spared, during three months of rocket attacks. Rape, abduction of women and children, kidnappings and home invasions or forced land acquisitions are still commonplace.

Women choose death over marriage

James Astill in Kabul, Iranian.ws, Apr 2, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 September 2011]

"Every minute of every day, she was fetching water, growing crops, looking after animals and children, cleaning the house. She was patient, but it was too much for her: she was educated and sensitive. She found it hard to live like a slave."

She was not alone in her suffering, nor in the agonising way she chose to die. Anecdotal evidence suggests several hundred young women are burning themselves to death in western Afghanistan every year.

A government mission sent to investigate the problem in Herat, the capital of western Afghanistan, reported that at least 52 young married or soon-to-be married women had burned themselves to death in recent months. The youngest was a bride-to-be of just 13.

Forced marriages contributing to women suicides in Afghanistan

Reuters, Kabul, February 27, 2004

www.afghanmania.com/en/news/0,news,3488,00.html

[accessed 28 August 2014]

Forced marriages and a lack of education were contributing to a recent spate of suicide attempts among women in Afghanistan, Deputy Women’s Affairs Minister Dr. Suraya Sobah Rang said on Thursday.

“Among the rest there could be more suicides but you know, according to Afghan tradition, people are not ready to talk about suicide, it is taboo and they try to hide it.” She said neither the police nor a government delegation sent to Herat to investigate the deaths could determine the true number of suicides.

Afghanistan: Rights Activists Temper U.S. Picture Of Progress For Women

Jeffrey Donovan, Radio Free Europe – Radio Liberty, March 09, 2004

www.rferl.org/content/article/1051818.html

[accessed 18 April 2012]

"A great deal is better for the Afghan woman. She can go outside without the Taliban in tow, but she's harassed by a lot of armed men. She can go if she wants a job, but there are not jobs available for her to do. She wants to be healthy, but there's not a health care system there. The worst part is that she does not have the right to choose who she wants to marry," Shorish-Shamley said.

The issue of forced Afghan marriages is making headlines in the Western press. Several newspapers and broadcasters have recently carried stories about a recent string of self-immolations by Afghan women in despair over forced marriages, domestic violence and a lack of respect for their rights.

Forced Marriages, Beatings, Suicides Persist Despite Taliban's Fall

Anna Badkhen, San Francisco Chronicle, April 16, 2004

www.sfgate.com/news/article/Liberation-eludes-Afghan-women-Forced-2792215.php

[accessed 28 August 2014]

For four months, the 21-year-old civil liberties activist has been teaching 120 local women and girls to read, write, take care of their health and not be afraid to stand up for their rights. But two months ago, her work at the Afghan Center, a humanitarian organization that provides general and vocational education for women in Kabul, was undercut by her own family.

They made clear to her that because she is an Afghan woman, she has no rights.  In February, Ghazal's parents informed her that they had engaged her to marry her cousin, Rafi, 28, an unemployed carpenter in the tiny village of Reshkhor. They expect the striking young woman with an arresting Sandra Bullock-like smile to move from the cosmopolitan capital of Kabul and to be confined to a lifetime of cleaning Rafi's house, cooking his food, washing his clothes and bearing his children.

Campaign under way to raise awareness of child trafficking

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, KABUL, 24 February 2004

www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=23128

[accessed 1 September 2011]

According to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), human trafficking - particularly child kidnapping and abduction - were identified as one of the most serious rights violations in recent months in Afghanistan, despite improvements in the situation of children in the war-weary country.

AIHRC said that although exact figures were hard to come by, in the last five months of 2003 over 300 complaints had been received from the families of children who had disappeared. "The commission is aware that many children are flown to Gulf countries, in particular Saudi Arabia, for labour purposes," the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Sunday, quoting AIHRC.

Still an important source for human trafficking - IOM report

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Kabul, 3 February 2004

www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=22827

[accessed 3 September 2011]

A new report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) argues that Afghanistan remains an important source country for human trafficking, despite improvements in the conditions of women and girls in post-conflict Afghanistan.

IOM said it had learnt that there were many forms of trafficking practiced in Afghanistan including exploitation of prostitutes, forced labour, slavery and practices similar to slavery, servitude and removal of body organs.  According to the report, Afghans are also suffering from other human rights abuses, which are related to trafficking. These include forced recruitment into armed groups, forced labour for poppy cultivation and the abduction of young men and boys for forced religious training.

Post-Taleban, post-war  -  justice for women in Afghanistan?

Amnesty International, October 6 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 September 2011]

Two years after the beginning of the military action against the Taleban, the women of Afghanistan are still subject to horrific abuses, from honour killings to forced and underage marriage, virginity testing, and prosecution and imprisonment for adultery, said Amnesty International in a major new report published today (6 October 2003).

'No one listens to us and no one treats us as human beings: Afghanistan - Justice denied to women is based on interviews with women in many parts of Afghanistan and finds that the day-to-day lives of many Afghan women are little changed from the oppression they endured under the Taleban.

Afghan Women Fight for Citizenship

Jodi Enda, Women's eNews, Washington DC, December 23, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 September 2011]

FEW GUARANTEES FOR WOMEN - Afghan women who attended the September conference "felt that because of the recent history of abuses, it was very important to very specifically list rights of women. That really hasn't happened in this document," Sultan said. "It doesn't outlaw discrimination based on gender. It doesn't talk about the rights of inheritance and property. It doesn't address the exchange of women in terms of disputes between families."

Although members of a constitutional commission reviewed a women's bill of rights composed at the Kandahar conference, they did not write it into the draft constitution. Female commissioners "told us this was the best that could have been done under the circumstances, that it was the best we could get out of the loya jirga," Sultan said.

Millions Suffer in Sex Slavery

United Press International UPI, Chicago, April 24, 2001

trafficksigns.com/?page_id=36

[accessed 23 July 2013]

AMONG THE OTHER FINDINGS:

·  Afghani women are sold into prostitution in Pakistan for around 600 rupees - less than $4 a pound, depending on their weight.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/afghanistan.htm

[accessed 18 January 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Afghanistan is a country of origin and transit for children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced marriage, labor, domestic servitude, slavery, crime, and the removal of body organs.  Since early 2003, there have been increasing reports of children reported as missing throughout the country.  It is also reported that impoverished Afghan families have sold their children into forced sexual exploitation, marriage, and labor.

Human Rights Reports » 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78868.htm

[accessed 18 January 2011]

WOMEN – Forced marriages continued to be a widespread problem. Previous AIHRC reporting estimated that 60 to 80 percent of all marriages were forced. The AIHRC estimated that approximately 40 percent of marriages were forced, and distinguished this category from another 20 percent of marriages that were "arranged," in which the woman was not allowed to choose her own spouse but may opt not to marry the man chosen for her by her family. During the year the AIHRC recorded 213 cases of forced marriages. There were 106 reported cases of self-immolation, several of which were women protesting a forced marriage.

Exchanging or selling women or girls remained a customary method of resolving disputes or satisfying debts, even though it was outlawed by presidential decree. For example, according to the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Rosina, 18, was sold into marriage by her father to a man in his fifties. When she refused she was beaten.

During the year the AIHRC recorded 41 cases of women being given to another family to settle disputes; however, the AIHRC believes the number of actual cases to be much higher. In the early part of the year, there was a very high-profile case involving a 13-year-old who was engaged to the son of an influential politician in Badakhshan province. She refused to marry the man and was threatened with stoning by residents of her village. The case eventually went to the Supreme Court; however, quiet negotiations involving local and central government led the case to be dropped and mediated informally. The girl did not have to marry the politician's son.

Honor killings also continued to be a problem. The AIHRC documented a total of 50 cases throughout the year. During the year the AIHRC reported a case in which a girl was raped by her brother. A resulting pregnancy forced the girl to reveal the incident to her parents. In order to save the family's reputation the parents set the girl on fire. She died three days later. At year's end authorities had not investigated this case. There were no further developments in the December 2005 case of an honor killing in the Watapour District of Konar Province.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61704.htm

[accessed 18 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The law does not prohibit trafficking in persons; however, traffickers could be prosecuted under other laws. The country was a source and transit point for trafficked persons. A 2003 IOM report noted qualitative and anecdotal evidence of increased trafficking in girls and children to Pakistan, Iran, and the Gulf states; however, the lack of systematic monitoring prevented a quantitative assessment of the scale of the problem. What little data were available suggested that trafficking in children, mainly boys, was the predominant form of trafficking, at least across borders. An IOM report released during the year confirmed that the buying and selling of women and girls continued.

There were continued reports of poor families promising young girls in marriage to satisfy family debts. There were a number of reports that children, particularly from the south and southeast, were trafficked to Pakistan to work in factories, or internally to work in brothels. UNICEF cited unconfirmed reports of the abduction of women and children in the southern part of the country.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Afghanistan", http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Afghanistan.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Afghanistan]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Afghanistan]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Afghanistan]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Afghanistan]  [other countries]