96 girls are sold for ‘marriage’ every day in Afghanistan, new report reveals

You’d have thought Afghan kids would be safe, in part because their parents would prefer to sell them to relatives, some of whom already have families, rather than sell them abroad to a foreign woman or man. However, these Afghan girls are reportedly being sold in simple weddings that end in deaths and abuse.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated 75-100 children are sold into prostitution each year in Kabul alone, and the IOM also reports that the average age of girls’ first sexual experience is 9 years old.

The IOM warned of child marriages in Afghanistan six years ago, but they continue, even as Afghan society changes: Women, for example, can go to school in some parts of the country, and a young woman who grew up in a village with no electricity and no running water now dreams of becoming a doctor.

As part of the report, published this week, international media groups, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and Quartz all spoke with individuals who said they sold their daughters for marriage.

Still, as long as Afghan families continue to demand money to put food on the table, and still as long as those children must marry off to men whose lives revolve around “business,” corruption, violence, and family feuds, the practice of child marriage will continue.

(The time stamps for the posts come from 5:48 p.m. and 9:50 p.m.)

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 16:48 IST

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