Children Of Pleasure: A Sad Story Of Afghanistan
By Rakesh Kumar Meena & Dhrubajyoti Bhattacharjee
Children remain to be the most vulnerable and delicate balance of a society. They are the foundation stone of a dream of a culture as well as a community that a society represents. Most of the developed and democratic world considers them to be the building bricks on which the society grows, whereas some till date considers them to be elements of pleasure, cheap labour and entertainment. Whenever, such a situation prevails in a community, such society suffers from the worst degenerative disease ever dreamt of.
Trafficking amongst children has turned into one of the major menaces of a developing society amongst which Afghanistan, a war torn and socio-economically dilapidated nation, has turned into one of the major breeding grounds of such a menace after illegal narcotics trafficking.
Amongst the local traditions of Afghanistan, using children as an element of pleasure and entertainment is not out of place and had been banned by the Taliban administrators only after 1996. Especially in places like Bano, some reports hints even at occupying forces of the West taking recourse to such pleasures and entertainment after November 2001. Any non governmental organisation or international agencies functioning in this portion of the globe functions under the aegis of such Western powers, which provides security and logistical support for unbiased data collection and implementation of international laws and conventions. Even with the introduction of Child Protection Units under the International Human Rights Commissions in Afghanistan, one can certainly deduce that in a fully democratic and peaceful nation like India can have a trafficking record of more than 30,000 people being trafficked each year from a city near the hills of West Bengal, what might be the track record of those cities in Afghanistan, where international observer groups does not have access to all the places of the nation.
In a report placed in the year 2004, an international SOS was sent by the Interior Ministry of Afghanistan to check the 'growing problem of child abduction. Children from all over the country were being kidnapped and taken abroad for sexual servitude, slave labor, and illicit organ donation.'
'Afghan children are being kidnapped on their way to school or while playing in parks. The Afghan interior minister, Ali Ahmed Jalali, says that both boys and girls are abducted for both domestic and international markets, to be used for sex or labor, or to provide human organs.' Jalali has mentioned that "The children who are being abducted are both boys and girls...They are kidnapped for different purposes. Unfortunately, in many cases, a lack of public information, the cleverness of the abductors and the extent of the abduction network is leading to an increase in abduction in different parts of Afghanistan. During the last year (2003) we arrested 100 people who were involved in abduction."
The world has changed quite a lot after 2003 and Afghanistan will surely remain to be in the back burner of the international media till a significant Al Qaeeda or Taliban operative is not being arrested or killed by an operation of the allied forces still present in Afghanistan. Mere furtive efforts of addressing such a menace would not bring any outcome until and unless such markets are being checked which support such a menace and an international effort is not brought forth to address such a menace. Cosmetic and short term changes would rather strengthen the evil hands of child trafficking in Afghanistan.
Department of Political Science
South Asian Studies Division
School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University