Data Dashboards

Afghanistan
Measurement
Measuring the Change

using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.

Due to lack of nationally representative data, there is no change to report.

%
Best Target 8.7 Data:

No Data Available

Data Availability
  • Child labour: Limited ILO data
  • Forced labour: No nationally representative data
  • Human trafficking: No nationally representative data
Context
Human Development

Human Development Index Score: 0.479 (2015)

Mean School Years: 3.5 years (2015)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: No data

Working Poverty Rate: 82.9% (2016)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not ratified
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2010
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Accession 2014
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): No data

Unemployed: 0% (2013)

Pension: 10.7% (2010)

Vulnerable: No data

Children: No data

Disabled: No data

Poor: No data

Measurement of child labour prevalence has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Estimates of child labour incidence are more robust and exist for more countries than any other form of exploitation falling under SDG Target 8.7.

Children in Hazardous Work, Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)

Hazardous child labour is the largest category of the worst forms of child labour with an estimated 73 million children aged 5-17 working in dangerous conditions in a wide range of sectors. Worldwide, the ILO estimates that some 22,000 children are killed at work every year.

In Afghanistan, the latest estimates show that 0.3 percent of children aged 5-14 were engaged in hazardous work in 2011, though the measure does not cover the full definition of hazardous child labour.

The chart displays differences in the percentage of children aged 5-14 in hazardous labour by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2011.

Weekly Work Hours, Children Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)

Children aged 5-11 are considered to be subjected to child labour when engaging in any form of economic activity. Children aged 12-14 are permitted to engage in “light” work that is not considered hazardous and falls below 14 hours per week.

According to the latest 2011 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Afghanistan was 12.8 hours.

The chart displays differences in the number of hours that children aged 5-14 work in economic activities by sex and region. The sample includes all children of this age group. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2011.

Weekly Work Hours Children Only in Economic Activity, Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)

Children not attending school who are engaged in economic activity can be subjected to longer working hours.

In 2011, the latest year with available data, children aged 5-14 in economic activity only, and not in school, worked an average of 12.8 hours per week.

The chart displays differences in the number of hours children aged 5-14 work in economic activities when they are not in school, by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2011.

Weekly Hours Household Chores, Children Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)

Researchers recognize that children involved in economic activities are not the only children working. The UCW operational definition of child labour includes performing household chores for at least 21 hours per week for children aged 5-14.

Children aged 5-14, on average, are found to work on household chores an average of 13 hours per week according to the 2011 estimate.

The chart displays differences in the number of hours children aged 5-14 work on household chores by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2011.

Measuring the incidence of forced labour is a much more recent endeavour and presents unique methodological challenges compared to the measurement of child labour.

No nationally representative data is available on forced labour prevalence in Afghanistan.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on new guidelines presented by the International Labour Organization and adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

The challenges in estimating human trafficking are similar to those of estimating forced labour, though recent innovations in estimation have begun to produce prevalence estimates in developed countries.

No nationally representative data is available on human trafficking prevalence in Afghanistan.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page to learn about measuring human trafficking prevalence, including information on collecting data through national referral mechanisms and producing prevalence statistics using Multiple Systems Estimation (MSE).

Case Data: International and Non-Governmental Organizations

Civil society organizations (CSOs) focused on human trafficking victim assistance can serve as crucial sources of data given their ability to reach a population that is notoriously difficult to sample.

IOM Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Polaris and Liberty Asia have launched a global data repository on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world. Not only does the CTDC serve as a central repository for this critical information, it also publishes normed and harmonized data from various organizations using a unified schema. This global dataset facilitates an unparalleled level of cross-border, trans-agency analysis and provides the counter-trafficking movement with a deeper understanding of this complex issue. Equipped with this information, decision makers will be empowered to create more targeted and effective intervention strategies.

Prosecution Data

UNODC compiles a global dataset on detected and prosecuted traffickers, which serves as the basis in their Global Report for country profiles. This information is beginning to paint a picture of trends over time, and case-specific information can assist investigators and prosecutors.

Key aspects of human development, such as poverty and lack of education, are found to be associated with risk of exploitation. Policies that address these issues may indirectly contribute to getting us closer to achieving Target 8.7.

Human Development Index (Source: UNDP)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) access to knowledge; and (3) a decent standard of living. Human development can factor into issues of severe labour exploitation in multiple ways.

The chart displays information on human development in Afghanistan between 1990 and 2015. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex.

The most recent year of the HDI, 2015, shows that average human development in Afghanistan is 0.479. This score indicates that human development is low.

HDI Education Index (Source: UNDP)

Lack of education and illiteracy are key factors that make both children and adults more vulnerable to exploitive labour conditions.

As the seminal ILO report Profits and Poverty explains:

“Adults with low education levels and children whose parents are not educated are at higher risk of forced labour. Low education levels and illiteracy reduce employment options for workers and often force them to accept work under poor conditions. Furthermore, individuals who can read contracts may be in a better position to recognize situations that could lead to exploitation and coercion.”

The bars on the chart represent the Education Index and the line traces the mean years of education in Afghanistan over time.

Decent work, a major component of SDG 8 overall, has clear implications on the forms of exploitation within Target 8.7. Identifying shortcomings in equitable, safe and stable employment can be a step in the right direction toward achieving Target 8.7.

Working Poverty Rate (Source: ILO)

Labour income tells us about a household’s vulnerability. As the ILO explains in Profits and Poverty:

“Poor households find it particularly difficult to deal with income shocks, especially when they push households below the food poverty line. In the presence of such shocks, men and women without social protection nets tend to borrow to smooth consumption, and to accept any job for themselves or their children, even under exploitative conditions.”

ILO indicators that measure poverty with respect to the labour force include working poverty rate, disaggregated by age groupings and sex, with temporal coverage spanning from 2000 to 2016. The chart displays linear trends in working poverty rate for each age group over time.

Labour Productivity (Source: ILO)

Labour productivity is an important economic indicator that is closely linked to economic growth, competitiveness, and living standards within an economy.” However, when increased labour output does not produce rising wages, this can point to increasing inequality. As indicated by a recent ILO report (2015), there is a “growing disconnect between wages and productivity growth, in both developed and emerging economies”. The lack of decent work available increases vulnerability to situations of labour exploitation.

Labour productivity represents the total volume of output (measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product, GDP) produced per unit of labour (measured in terms of the number of employed persons) during a given period.

Research to date suggests that a major factor in vulnerability to labour exploitation is broader social vulnerability, marginalization or exclusion. Among these are migrants.

Groups Highly Vulnerable to Exploitation (Source: UNHCR)

Creating effective policy to prevent and protect individuals from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour means making sure that all parts of the population are covered, particularly the most vulnerable groups. Migration can increase vulnerability to exploitation.

According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: “Almost one of every four victims of forced labour were exploited outside their country of residence, which points to the high degree of risk associated with migration in the modern world, particularly for migrant women and children.”

As IOM explains: “Although most migration is voluntary and has a largely positive impact on individuals and societies, migration, particularly irregular migration, can increase vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.” UNODC similarly notes that: “The vulnerability to being trafficked is greater among refugees and migrants in large movements.”

The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in Afghanistan.

Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.

Official Definitions
Forced Labour

Constitution of Afghanistan, 1382 (2004)
Article Forty-Nine
Forced labor is forbidden.
Active participation in times of war, calamity, and other situations threatening lives and public welfare is a national duty of every Afghan.
Children shall not be subjected to forced labor.

Labour Law, 2007
Prohibition of Compulsory Work Article 4:

1. Compulsory work is prohibited. Work becomes compulsory when the worker is threatened to do it or when a job against the rules and regulations of the organization and against the will of the worker is to be performed by the worker, is called a compulsory piece of work.
2. A piece of work performed by the worker based on the rules of law is not considered a compulsory piece of work.

Child Labour

Constitution of Afghanistan, 1382 (2004)
Article Forty-Nine
Forced labor is forbidden.
Active participation in times of war, calamity, and other situations threatening lives and public welfare is a national duty of every Afghan.
Children shall not be subjected to forced labor.

Labour Law, 2007
Terms of Recruitment Article 13:

1. A person who can meet the following requirements, may be recruited as worker:

1.2. The minimum age for work is 18; and for light type of business, the minimum age of work is 15. The minimum age for gaining training is completion of 14 years.

2. Recruitment terms and procedures apply on the basis of the relevant law.
3. The age of the employee at the time of recruitment is determined according to dates mentioned in his/her National ID card taking the day and month of his birth into consideration. This information is recorded in his personal file. Changing age is not valid after this information is entered into his personal file.

Article 31:

1. The weekly working time of workers are reduced in the following cases:

1.1. For youths between 15 and 18 year of age, 35 hours per week.

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Labour Law, 2007
Terms of Recruitment Article 13:
4. Recruiting people less than 18 years of age for businesses that are injurious to their health and cause physical damage or disability, is prohibited.

Provisions for not Recruiting Women and Youths Article 120:
It is not permissible for women and youths to be engaged in types of work that are physically arduous, or harmful to health or carried out in underground sites.
List of these jobs shall be prepared and approved by MoPH, MoLSAMD and the respective organizations.

Not Assigning Women and youth on Night Duties Article 121:
The management is not authorized to assign women and youths on night duties. Assigning women and breast-feeding mothers based on their agreements in hospitals, health clinics and for duties that would require physical hard work under a proper schedule is exempted.

Young employee characteristic Article 127:
1. The youth (young employee) is the person who is of from (14-18 ) years of age.
2. Prior to the employment of the youth, the organization is duty bound to, send him/her to the medical center and will file his medical check-up in the employee record book.
Medical check-up of the youth (young employee), at least, once a year is under the responsibility of the organization.

Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled Hazardous Work List, 2014
The Afghan Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled announced the list of jobs which are prohibited for child labour in Afghanistan on 9 February 2014 in Kabul.

Human Trafficking

Law Prohibiting Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, 2017
“The Law prohibits all forms of human trafficking and criminalizes the use of threat or force or other types of coercion or deceit for the purpose of exploitation. It includes forms of exploitation such as medical experiments and forcing a person to commit “other illegal activities,” and includes armed fighting and creating a new offence which prohibits bacha baazi, i.e. the exploitation of young boys by men for social and sexual entertainment.”

International Commitments
National Strategies

Action Plan for the Prevention of Underage Recruitment

“Aims to prevent the recruitment of minors into the Afghan National Security Forces, including the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police, the National Directory of Security, and progovernment militia groups. Seeks to ensure the release of children under age 18 from the armed forces and facilitate their reintegration into families and communities.”

National Strategy for Children at Risk

“Creates a framework to provide social services to at-risk children and their families, and guides donors in contributing toward a comprehensive child protection system. Focuses specifically on working children, trafficked children, child soldiers, and other children affected by conflict. Since the adoption of the policy, the establishment of CPANs has been an important achievement in its implementation. However, not all provinces have a CPAN. Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.”

National Labor Policy

“Includes objectives to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, such as those involving hazardous activities; pass legislation prohibiting child labor; and effectively enforce child labor laws. Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.”

National Strategy for Street Working Children

“Creates a framework to provide social services to at-risk children and their families, and guides donors in contributing toward a comprehensive child protection system. Focuses specifically on working children, trafficked children, child soldiers, and other children affected by conflict. Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.”

National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan, 2007-2017

Policy for Protection of Children in Armed Conflict

“Reiterates the commitment to protect children from recruitment and sexual exploitation in the armed forces, and provides services to children rescued from engagement in armed conflict. Assigns the Ministry of Defense and the Afghan National Police with monitoring that children’s rights are safeguarded and coordinating with CPANs and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. In 2018, the Ministry of Justice opened a juvenile rehabilitation center in Kabul for children previously engaged in armed conflict.”

International Ratifications

ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, C105, Ratified 1963

ILO Minimum Age Convention, C138, Ratified 2010

ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182, Ratified 2010

Slavery Convention 1926 and amended by the Protocol of 1953, Definitive Signature 1954

UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, Accession 1966

UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), Accession 2014

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ratified 1994

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Accession 2003

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Accession 2002

Governments can take action to assist victims and to prevent and end the  perpetration of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. These actions should be considered in wider societal efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.

Programs and Agencies for Victim Support (Source: U.S. Department of Labor)

Policies for Assistance

Presidential Decree on Supervision and authority of the law establishing special courts for children, 2014

“Provides for the well-being, education, safety and upbringing of children who are orphans or who do not have any legal guardians.”

Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) Law, 2009
Article 6 The victim of violence has the following rights:

1. Prosecution of the offender according to the provisions of law.
2. Access to protective center or safe home or other secure places in agreement with the victim.
3. Free access to emergency health services.
4. Having advocate or legal aid provider.
5. Compensation resulted from the act of violence.
6. Confidentiality related to the matter.
7. Other rights provided in the legislative documents.

Article 7

1. The victim of violence or her relatives may file a complaint at the police, Huqooq offices, courts or other relevant offices.
2. The offices under paragraph (1) of this Article are bound to register and take appropriate action and inform the Ministry of Women Affairs in writing.
3. Ministry of Women Affairs is bound to take necessary measures for maintaining contacts after receipt of written notice or direct complaint from the victim or her relatives.
4. Prosecutor’s office and court are bound to place the case of violence in priority and act on it expeditiously.
5. The responsible offices under paragraph (1) of this Article are bound to observe in their investigation the code of conduct adopted by the Special Commission against Violence.

Policy on Child Labor in Carpet Weaving

“Provides social services to children and incentives for weaving families that avoid child labor. Includes an implementation plan. Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this policy during the reporting period.”

Policy for Protection of Children in Armed Conflict

“Reiterates the commitment to prevent children from recruitment and sexual exploitation in the armed forces, and provide services to children rescued from engagement in armed conflict. Assigns the Ministry of Defense and the Afghan National Police with monitoring that children’s rights are safeguarded and coordinating with CPANs and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.”

Penalties

Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) Law, 2009
Forcing into Prostitution: Article 18

1. If a person forces an adult woman into prostitution, he shall be sentenced to long term imprisonment of not less than 7 years.
2. If the victim under paragraph 1 of this Article is an underage woman, the perpetrator shall, depending on the circumstances, be sentenced to long term imprisonment not less than 10 years.

Forced Labor: Article 36
A person who forces a woman to forced labor, the offender shall, in addition to paying compensation, be sentenced to short- term imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.

Law Prohibiting Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, 2017
“The Law prohibits all forms of human trafficking and criminalizes the use of threat or force or other types of coercion or deceit for the purpose of exploitation. It includes forms of exploitation such as medical experiments and forcing a person to commit “other illegal activities,” and includes armed fighting and creating a new offence which prohibits bacha baazi, i.e. the exploitation of young boys by men for social and sexual entertainment.
The law prescribes maximum penalties of eight years imprisonment; aggravating factors increase the maximum sentence to between 10 and 15 years and the imposition of the death penalty if exploitation for armed fighting resulted in the victim’s death.”

Penal Code, 2017
“The Gazette announces that the final text of the Penal Code will be published soon. The revised Penal Code contains provisions on crimes against humanity, war crimes, human trafficking, sexual harassment and prohibition of the practice of Bacha baazi.”

Programs and Agencies for Enforcement (Source: U.S. Department of Labor)

Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.

Social Protection Coverage: General (at Least One)
Social Protection (Source: ILO)

The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.

If a country does not appear on a chart, this indicates that there is no recent data available for the particular social protection visualized.

Social Protection Coverage: Unemployed
Social Protection Coverage: Pension
Social Protection Coverage: Vulnerable Groups
Social Protection Coverage: Poor
Social Protection Coverage: Children
Social Protection Coverage: Disabled

Delta 8.7 has received no Official Response to this dashboard from Afghanistan. If you are a representative of Afghanistan and wish to submit an Official Response, please contact us here.