Half of Afghanistan’s 30 million people are under 18. They are exposed to extreme situations of violence and abuse due to ongoing fighting, displacement, a poor economy, and harmful social norms and practices. The increased number and frequency of conflict-related incidents has caused an alarming rise in child casualties.
Afghan girls face early marriage, honour killings, domestic abuse, and sexual violence. Afghan boys suffer many of the same risks, along with military recruitment into armed conflict, and sexual exploitation. Both girls and boys are exposed to hazardous labour practices, contact with landmines, and violence at home.
Afghanistan is second in migration only to Syria. Over the last decade, 2.7 million Afghans have left their country in the hopes of finding a better life. Within the country more than one million have been displaced. Forced migration disrupts communities and often results in the victimization of children and adolescents through early marriage.
Existing protection services are inadequate, especially in remote and in warring communities: there is widespread failure to promote and protect the rights of children.
Child marriages are illegal but widespread in Afghanistan: One third of Afghan girls marry before their 18th birthday.