9 Year Old Child Sold to 55 Year Old Man


Photo courtesy of CNN

Julyah Hynds

In recent months, Afghan families have been suffering from starvation and poverty. This has led to many families making the unthinkable decision of selling adolescent children for marriage in exchange for money. Very recently, CNN reported a very tragic story of a nine year old pleading to stay in fear of being beaten. India Today reported, “Abdul was forced to sell Parwana’s 12-year-old sister months ago to help his family survive.”.The Daily Signal reports on the topic, “ The most heartbreaking scene captures Parwana holding onto her mother as she’s dragged away by her new “husband.” This family has already faced choices of having to sell their children to receive payment to have enough financial support. 

Taliban took over Afghanistan, and since the economy is collapsing and international humanitarian aid has been paused. This has affected many families like Parwana’s who cannot buy basic necessities, reported from the Daily Mail. Due to the decline in necessities being received, this practice of selling children has become much more frequent. It became harder for larger families like Abduls to afford food and necessities. In the eyes of Abdul there is only one answer, “I have to sell to keep other family members alive,’’ reported International Business Times. The money received from Parwana’s sale, however, can only sustain her family for a few months.

Badghis-based human rights activist Mohammad Naim Nazem reported, “Day by day, the numbers are increasing of families selling their children. [Due to the] lack of food, lack of work, the families feel they have to do this.” CNN reports that, “marrying off children under the age of 15 is illegal in Afghanistan, but it has been practiced in more rural parts of the country for years.” The humanitarian crisis has worsened since the radical takeover by the Taliban, Market Telecast Research reported that, “More than 20 million people face food insecurity and 3.2 million children suffer from acute malnutrition.” 

There are many stories like Parwana Malik, pleading to stay in the home of their loved ones.Another story reported from Yahoo News, “Last month a woman named Saleha said she sold her 3-year old daughter for $550 because, like the Maliks, she didn’t have enough money to sustain herself.” There are many other stories reported that have similar, tragic situations like Malik.   As many continue to suffer in this community, Kanni Wignaraja, UNDP’s Asia-Pacific director, reported, “Afghanistan pretty much faces universal poverty by the middle of next year. That’s where we’re heading-it’s 97%-98% no matter how you work projections.” Revealing that the trend of selling children will continue as the economy continues to decline. The United Nations had disclosed that “With Afghanistan at a dangerous turning point, a united Security Council must seize the current opportunity to quickly reinvigorate peace talks and prevent the crisis from spilling across national borders” revealing that the major concern as of this moment is to keep the problem concealed before it spreads.