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UNICEF Concerned By Rising Child Labor In Afghanistan


Afghan boys work on a carpet in Kabul.

Afghan boys work on a carpet in Kabul.

KABUL -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says it is concerned by the growing number of working Afghan children, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

UNICEF officials said at a press conference in Kabul on June 11 that girls are more likely to be pressured into working than boys because they have fewer educational opportunities and are under greater social and cultural restrictions.

A UNICEF survey in 2003 showed that one in four Afghan children between seven and 14 is forced to work, and the number of working children has reportedly increased since then.

UNICEF says many Afghan families have no money to send their children to school and need them to earn money to support the family.

Girls also face security risks as insurgents and others have burned schools and threatened the girls who attend them.

UNICEF said it will offer more financial support and educational opportunities to children.

Afghanistan recently signed an international convention for preventing child labor, which UN officials expect will help reduce the extent of the problem there.
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