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In Afghanistan, Children Comprise Half Of Workforce At Brick Kilns


A 10-year-old boy works at a brick factory on the outskirts of Kabul. (file photo)

A 10-year-old boy works at a brick factory on the outskirts of Kabul. (file photo)

A new International Labor Organization (ILO) assessment says that half of the workforce in Afghan brick kilns are children under the age of 14.

The ILO report details brick-making as one of the worst forms of child labor, where children work in a slavish cycle of debt that is almost impossible to escape.

Though both child labor and so-called bonded work are illegal in Afghanistan, children as young as 5 produce hundreds of bricks a week for a few dollars to pay off family debts, which only swell the longer they work there.

Poor health from harsh working conditions, reliance on shelter and electricity provided by brick employers and denied education mean brick makers are tied to their work.

The United Nations estimates that almost 2 million children in Afghanistan are in full or part-time work.

With agency reports

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