Sunday, February 12, 2012

Afghanistan's Opium Child Brides

From The Atlantic

A 40-year-old Afghan man sits next to his 11-year-old bride, Ghulan / AP/UNICEF

"She was a 12-year-old girl, with fiery green eyes and defiance on her face. Her father had promised her hand to a stranger from Helmand province who didn't speak her language, was more than 30 years her senior, and already had eight children. Her father had borrowed the man's money for his poppy venture. And now it was up to her to repay that debt.

"Darya, as she was called in a new book by Fariba Nawa, Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman's Journey Through Afghanistan, represents a growing trend in Afghanistan, a trend in which families marry off their daughters to settle debts originating from the opium trade. 'Opium brides," they called them."

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Modern lifestyles can fuel child labour scandal

Modern lifestyles can fuel child labour scandal, says UK charity

UK children’s charity World Vision International which advocates against child brides and the trafficking in and exploitation of children warns that ordinary people are often unknowingly complicit in today’s global trade in children.
"I’ve just come back from Niger where I saw girls as young as eight being treated as items to be bought and sold for marriage," said the charity’s chief executive Justin Byworth. "12-year-old Zainab fled her home with her grandmother to escape being a child bride having seen her big sister die in childbirth after an early marriage."

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Afghan child bride had escaped torturers but was sent back

Outcry over case of Sahar Gul who was returned to her in-laws despite their attempts to force her into prostitution

From the London Guardian

"A 15-year-old Afghan girl who was nearly tortured to death by her husband and his family attempted to escape her attackers more than four months ago but was sent back home by local authorities, it has emerged.

"Sahar Gul, a child-bride married off to a soldier called Gulam Sakhi who then tried to force her into prostitution, is being treated for horrific injuries in a hospital in Kabul after she was rescued last week.

"Horrific abuse of women is still common in Afghanistan, particularly against brides who can be regarded as chattels by their husbands or are exchanged between families in order to resolve feuds.

"The government is frequently unwilling to enforce laws it has often been forced to pass by the country's international backers, and the writ of the state often does not run in areas far away from urban centres."

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