Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Young Afghan students working in poppy fields to pay for education

Many rural Afghan children like 14-year-old Esmatulla, who was attending school and living on his own in Helmand Province, are now missing out on their education as they must work in the poppy fields to pay for their cost of living, the United Nations IRIN news agency reported Tuesday.

Esmatullah’s story seems to be ever more common. Increasing insecurity and attacks on rural schools kept him from attending class in his home town. Thus, he was sent to Helmand’s capital, where slightly better security allowed him to continue his education. But to afford the new costs of living independently, Esmatullah has had to return to his rural community to work in the poppy fields, causing him to miss class. It now appears that pursuing an education often requires so much effort on the part of young Afghans that they miss the very education they are working for, and put themselves at risk of drug addiction in the process.

For the full article, click here.


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