An Afghan child works at a brick factory in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, June 12, 2019. The decades-long war and extreme poverty have taken the toll on Afghan children, with around 30 percent of those between six and 15 years old having to work long hours to support their families, and many do not go to school. TO GO WITH "Feature: Child labor still a worry in Afghanistan" (Xinhua/Rahmat Alizadah)
KABUL, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The decades-long war and extreme poverty have taken the toll on Afghan children, with around 30 percent of those between six and 15 years old having to work long hours to support their families, and many do not go to school.
In many work sites, their work could result in injury, illness and in many cases even death due to critical working conditions.
Some children work in kilns, workshops, metal industry and as welders, tinsmiths as well as shoe shiners and vendors along the streets or car-washers, and in some areas they are employed in the home-based carpet industries.
Many of such children work with little or even no pay.
"I earn only 300 afghani (some 4 U.S. dollars) on a daily basis. It is not enough to buy flour and sugar, so how can I buy pen and paper for my school," Hashim, 15, told Xinhua.
Hashim who came from the eastern province of Kunar to the capital Kabul to find work said his dream was to become a doctor or engineer to serve his country, but the dream has faded.
"I am interested in going to school, but I can't. Work in brick making factory is too hard to continue. With this lowest daily income it is difficult to buy pen or paper," Hashim said.
Critical poverty stops many families from sending children to school.
Some households with disabled male workers have no way except sending their children to bear the burden of tough work to earn a living.
Omar Jan, 14, works dawn-to-dusk in a kiln to support his 10-member family, including his brother who is disabled and his father who is in debt.
"I have left everything, including school due to extreme poverty. I have an ailing family member and indebted father. So I want to work to pay our loan, rather to go to school," said Omar Jan, who said his dream was to become educated.
The minimum age for labor under Afghanistan law is 18, and children between 15 and 17 are only allowed to work under safe and secure environment with no more than 35 hours a week.