AIHRC: Violence Against Children in Afghanistan Increased by 16 Percent

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) today released its annual report on children’s human rights situation in 2020 in the country.

AIHRC in its report cited that the violence against children in Afghanistan decreased by 16 percent compared to the previous solar year which include psychological, physical, economic, sexual and other violence.

The information for AIHRC research was collected through the completion of monitoring and case registration forms carried out by the field and border monitoring team of the Children’s Rights Unit of the Commission in which 5,318 children, including 3,807 (71.6%) boys and 1,509 (28.4%) girls were interviewed in 28 provinces of the country.

Among the children included in the study, 1,024 (19.3%) were between 7 and 11 years of age and 4,294 (80.7%) were between 12 and 18 years of age.

835 (15.7%) children included in the study were from displaced families and 1,990 (37.4%) from returnees’ families. The remaining 2,493 (46.9%) were neither from the families of displaced nor from the returnees.

4,456 (83.8%) children included in this research lived at home with their families, but 862 (16.2%) others lived apart from their families i.e., 264, (30.7%) in orphanages and 598 (69.3%). in correction centers.

The total number of civilian casualties registered with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in the fiscal year 1399 (2020), reaches 8,500 people, including 2,019 (23.8%) children. This figure was 2,696 (25%) in the fiscal year 1398 (2019) when the overall number of civilian casualties was 10,772; thus, this year, the number of child casualties has decreased by 1.2% compared to the total civilian casualties in the previous year and by 25.1% compared to the number of child casualties in the previous year.

According to the findings of this study, in the fiscal year 1399 (2020), 126 children were involved in the conflict in the ranks of the armed forces, including government forces and anti-government armed groups, of which 20 (15.9%) were in the ranks of government forces and 96 others (76.2%) were in the ranks of anti-government armed groups. The other 10 (7.9%) did not answer to this question.

In the fiscal year 1398 (2019), the number of children participating in the ranks of government armed forces and anti-government armed groups reached 90, which was 28.58% less than in 1399. (2020).

The information also reveals that, in addition to the children participating in the conflicts, 13 other children served as workers in government military and security units as well as in checkpoints of anti-government armed groups.

In the fiscal year 1399 (2020), of the 5,318 children included in the study, 1,391 (26.2%) were victims of violence, while in 1398 (2019), 535 (10.2%) of the 5,248 children included in the study were victims of violence; thus, in 1399 (2020) incidents of violence against children increased by 16%. Among 1,391 children who were victims of violence, 948 (68.2%) were boys and 443 (31.8%) were girls.

In 1399 (2020), 628 (45.1%) of children included in the study, were victims of psychological violence, 606 (43.6%) were victims of physical violence, 44 (3.2%) victims of economic violence and 34 (2.4%) were victims of sexual violence; and 79 (5.7 ٪), were victims of other types of violence that are not listed under verbal-psychological, physical, economic and sexual violence.

Findings of this study showed that 34 children included in the study were victims of sexual violence, 16 incidents (47.1%) of rape, four incidents (11.8%) of forced prostitution, two incidents (5. 9 ٪) of forced sodomy, seven incidents (20.6%) of sexual harassment, four incidents (11.8%) of forced marriage and one incident (2.9%) of forced pregnancy.

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