Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, February 29, 2008

Widespread poverty pushing Afghan youth into arms of Taliban

High levels of rural poverty and unemployment are believed to be driving young people to join the Taliban, IRIN reported Wednesday.

A report by Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission estimated that in some parts of the country the unemployment rate was as high as 60 percent. This flies in the face of what many Afghans expected for their country after the fall of the Taliban. Edward Girardet, program director for the Media 21 Global Journalism Network, told IRIN that great improvements were expected by the Afghans - among them a rapid rebuilding of the country and its economy. The great disparity between the popular expectations and the current reality has left many feeling frustrated, angry, and desperate.

With the central government of Afghanistan failing to meet many of the essential needs for rural Afghans, joining the Taliban is becoming a tempting offer of employment and protection, especially to young men who have little to do and are often heavily courted by the insurgents.

For the full article, click here.


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