Anfragebeantwortung zu Afghanistan: Gewalt gegen Kinder und etwaige Veränderungen durch die Covid-19-Pandemie; Zugang zu Bildungseinrichtungen im Zusammenhang mit Pandemie, insb. in Kabul und Mazar-e-Sharif [a-11573]

25. Mai 2021

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Gewalt gegen Kinder und etwaige Veränderungen durch die Covid-19-Pandemie

Aufgrund der COVID-19-Situation wurde in Afghanistan beginnend mit Ende März 2020 ein Lockdown verhängt. Dieser wurde zwar nie offiziell aufgehoben, endete jedoch faktisch im Juli bzw. August 2020 rund um das Fest Eid-ul Adha oder – je nach Ort – einige Wochen später (AAN, 1. Oktober 2020). Laut E-Mail-Auskunft des nationalen Koordinators der Unabhängigen Afghanischen Menschenrechtskommission für den Bereich Kinderrechte (Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, AIHRC) endete der Lockdown in Afghanistan im Juli 2020 und es wurden keine weiteren Ausgangsbeschränkungen erlassen. (Nationaler Koordinator der AIHRC für den Bereich Kinderrechte, 18. Mai 2021)

Zur Eindämmung der Ansteckungsgefahr wurde Mitte März 2020 auch der Schulbetrieb eingestellt, indem der Beginn des (von März bis Dezember dauernden) Schuljahres immer weiter bis in den Sommer hinausgeschoben wurde (The Diplomat, 17. November 2020). Nach fünfmonatiger Schließung wurden die Schulen nach Angaben der AIHRC Ende August wieder geöffnet (Nationaler Koordinator der AIHRC für den Bereich Kinderrechte, 18. Mai 2021). Eine andere Quelle berichtet, dass die Wiederöffnung der Schulen stufenweise zwischen August und Oktober 2020 erfolgte. Angesichts einer zweiten COVID-19-Welle (SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 150) verkündete die Regierung jedoch Ende November die abermalige Schließung der Schulen (Nationaler Koordinator der AIHRC für den Bereich Kinderrechte, 18. Mai 2021; SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 150) durch Vorverlegung des Winterferienbeginns (Nationaler Koordinator der AIHRC für den Bereich Kinderrechte, 18. Mai 2021; The Diplomat, 17. November 2020).

Im Verlauf des ersten Quartals 2021 öffneten die Schulen erneut (SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 150; vgl. auch UNICEF, 4. Mai 2021). In einigen Großstädten wie etwa Kabul erfolgte die Öffnung der Schulen am 28. Februar 2021, während das neue Schuljahr in kälteren Teilen des Landes am 23. März begann (SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 150; vgl. auch UNICEF, 4. Mai 2021).

Nach Angaben der Vereinten Nationen sind Kinder einem hohen Maß an Gewalt ausgesetzt. Die Lockdown-Maßnahmen zum Zweck der Bekämpfung der COVID-19-Pandemie hätten das Risiko für Kinder erhöht, zum Ziel von Gewalt zu werden (UN General Assembly / UN Security Council, 12. März 2021, S. 14). Laut einer Auskunftsperson, die im Rahmen einer Studie von Human Rights Watch (HRW) befragt wurde, würden Afghan·innen in großen Familien leben. Wenn die Familienmitglieder jeden Tag zu Hause bleiben müssten, sei Gewalt in der Familie die Folge. Im Regelfall seien Kinder Opfer solcher Gewalt (HRW, 28. Juni 2020).

Wie die Unabhängige Afghanische Menschenrechtskommission (Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, AIHRC) berichtet, sei es während des Lockdowns sowohl innerhalb als auch außerhalb der Familie häufig zu Verletzungen der Kinderrechte gekommen (Etilaat Rooz, 14. Mai 2020). Der Lockdown habe es Opfern zudem erschwert, Gewalttaten bei den Behörden zur Anzeige zu bringen (UN General Assembly / UN Security Council, 12. März 2021, S. 14).

Die AIHRC dokumentierte im Zeitraum März und September 2020, der den Lockdown umfasst, 141 Fälle von Gewalt gegen Kinder. Dies stelle einen Rückgang von 13,5 Prozent gegenüber den 163 Fällen dar, die im selben Zeitraum des Jahres 2019 verzeichnet wurden. Das afghanische Innenministerium habe indes 30 Fälle von Gewalt gegen Kinder während des halbjährigen Lockdowns verzeichnet, was einen Rückgang von 68,4 Prozent zum Vergleichszeitraum 2019 darstelle. Wie die AIHRC bemerkt, könnte diese Abnahme durch Einschränkungen der Reise- und Bewegungsfreiheit während des Lockdowns begründet sein, die es Opfern erschwerten, sich an die Justiz zu wenden und Fälle zur Anzeige zu bringen. Das tatsächliche Ausmaß der Gewalt gegen Kinder könnte daher wesentlich höher sein. Nach Angaben des afghanischen Innenministeriums seien in 9,6 Prozent der dokumentierten Fälle von Gewalt gegen Kinder die Eltern verantwortlich gewesen und für 12 Prozent andere Familienangehörige. In 78,4 Prozent der Fälle wurden Gewalttaten durch Personen außerhalb der Familie begangen. (AIHRC, 21. November 2020)

Basierend auf einer auf sozialen Medien durchgeführten Befragung von 351 Kindern bzw. Jugendlichen, deren Betreuungspersonen, sowie 129 Personen aus der allgemeinen Bevölkerung schreibt Save the Children, dass der Anteil jener Befragten, die während der Schulschließungen über häusliche Gewalt berichtet hätten, bei 17 Prozent lag. Dieser Anteil sei doppelt so hoch gewesen als zu Zeiten, in denen die Schüler in der Lage waren, den Präsenzunterricht an Schulen zu besuchen. Von den befragten Kindern und Jugendlichen hätten 30 Prozent berichtet, dass sie während des Lockdowns Gewalt in der Familie erlebt hätten (Save the Children, 14. September 2020). So zitiert Save the Children etwa ein zehnjähriges Mädchen aus der Provinz Nangarhar, das sich über Streitigkeiten und Auseinandersetzungen in seiner Familie beklagt habe (Save the Children, 2020, S. 7). In einem weiteren, vom Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) berichteten Fall habe ein Familienvater seine Kinder immer wieder geschlagen, nachdem sie dessen Verbot, das Haus zu verlassen, missachtet hätten (AAN, 1. Oktober 2020).

Neben Auseinandersetzungen und Gewalt hätten „negative Bewältigungsstrategien“ von Familien auch vermehrt zur Ausbeutung von Kindern geführt. So habe etwa die Kinderarbeit zugenommen (Save the Children, 2020, S. 8; vgl. auch IOM, März 2021, S. 10 und The Diplomat, 17. November 2020). So sei nach Angaben der Internationalen Organisation für Migration (IOM) in den ersten Monaten des Jahres 2021 im Durchschnitt eines von drei Kindern in Afghanistan außer Haus geschickt worden, um zu arbeiten. Besonders außerhalb der Städte sei ein hoher Anstieg der Kinderarbeit berichtet worden (IOM, März 2021, S. 10). Auch habe die Zahl der Kinder und Jugendlichen im Alter von zehn bis 16 Jahren, die zum Tragen von Lasten, Schuheputzen, Waschen von Autos oder Müllsammeln auf der Straße eingesetzt wurden, zugenommen (Save the Children, 2020, S. 8). Laut Daten des Sekretariats für Kinderschutz des afghanischen Ministeriums für Arbeit und soziale Angelegenheiten habe es vor der COVID-19-Krise 2,1 Millionen arbeitende Kinder gegeben, von denen 1,3 Millionen schwere Arbeit verrichtet hätten. Diese Zahl sei seit dem Ausbruch der Pandemie erheblich gestiegen. So habe die Zahl der arbeitenden Kinder mit Stand Anfang November 2020 bei 2,5 Millionen gelegen. Davon hätten 1,5 Millionen schwere körperliche Arbeit verrichtet (AIHRC, 21. November 2020).

Viele Tätigkeiten, die von arbeitenden Kindern ausgeübt werden, wie etwa prekäre, informelle Arbeiten und Betteln, seien mit einem hohen Risiko verbunden, Opfer von Ausbeutung und Gewalt zu werden (IOM, März 2021, S. 10). So wird berichtet, dass arbeitende Kinder zum Ziel von Gewalttaten wurden (Etilaat Rooz, 14. Mai 2020).

Darüber hinaus könnten sich „negative Bewältigungsstrategien“ etwa darin äußern, dass Mädchen in Zeiten der Nahrungsmittelknappheit entsprechend den vorherrschenden gesellschaftlichen Normen weniger zu essen erhielten als Jungen. Auch sei eine Zunahme von Fällen von Zwangsverehelichung und des Verkaufs von Mädchen zu erwarten (Oxfam, April 2020, S. 6). So würden laut Human Rights Watch (HRW) 35 Prozent aller afghanischen Mädchen bereits als Kind verheiratet. Bei Mädchen, die keine Schule besuchten, sei die Wahrscheinlichkeit, vor Vollendung ihres 18. Lebensjahres verheiratet zu werden, dreimal so hoch wie bei Mädchen mit abgeschlossener Sekundarausbildung (HRW, 18. Juni 2020).

Es wurden weitere externe Expert·innen zu dieser Fragestellung kontaktiert. Falls Antworten einlangen, liefern wir sie Ihnen umgehend nach.

Zugang zu Bildungseinrichtungen im Zusammenhang mit der Covid-19-Pandemie, insb. in Kabul und Mazar-e-Sharif (Schulkonzepte, Schulschließungen, Internet und Fernunterricht, Stromversorgung)

Während sich vor der COVID-19-Krise bereits 3,7 Millionen Kinder und Jugendliche außerhalb des Bildungswesens befanden (UN Women/UNICEF/HRW, 14. Oktober 2020; UNICEF, ohne Datum) (andere Quellen sprechen sogar von 5 bzw. 6 Millionen, siehe The Diplomat, 17. November 2020), hätten die Schulschließungen etwa zehn Millionen weitere Kinder und Jugendliche betroffen, darunter mehr als 9,5 Millionen Schüler·innen an öffentlichen Schulen (insbesondere Mädchen) sowie 500.000 in Community-basierten Bildungseinrichtungen. (UN Women/UNICEF/HRW, 14. Oktober 2020)

Nach Angaben in einer Auskunft des nationalen Koordinators der AIHRC für den Bereich Kinderrechte wurden alle Schulen im März 2021 wieder geöffnet, und der Schulbetrieb sei zurzeit im Gange (Nationaler Koordinator der AIHRC für den Bereich Kinderrechte, 18. Mai 2021; vgl. auch SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 150; UNICEF, 4. Mai 2021; BBC News, 9. Mai 2021).

Laut den Ergebnissen der oben genannten Befragung von Save the Children hatten 64 Prozent der befragten Kinder bzw. Jugendlichen während des Lockdowns keinerlei Kontakt zu Lehrer·innen. Acht von zehn Kindern bzw. Jugendlichen seien der Ansicht gewesen, dass sie seit der Schließung der Schulen nichts oder fast nichts gelernt hätten. Nur 4,6 Prozent der Kinder bzw. Jugendlichen hätten mindestens einmal täglich Kontakt mit einer Lehrkraft gehabt. Zudem habe jeder dritte Haushalt auf dem Land sowie jeder fünfte Haushalt im städtischen Raum Schwierigkeiten beim Zugang zu Lehrmaterialien gehabt. (Save the Children, 14. September 2020)

Es habe zwar einige Bemühungen gegeben, den fehlenden Präsenzunterricht zu kompensieren. So habe das afghanische Bildungsministerium eine Online-Plattform eingerichtet, um alternatives Lernen zu ermöglichen (AAN, 1. Oktober 2020) und sich für die zur Förderung von Fernunterricht über Radio und Fernsehen gesetzt (The Diplomat, 17. November 2020). Einige TV-Sender hätten die Online-Lehreinheiten über das Fernsehen übertragen, wobei diese Maßnahme nicht alle Teile des Bildungssystems erfasst habe (Nationaler Koordinator der AIHRC für den Bereich Kinderrechte, 18. Mai 2021).

Allerdings seien laut einer vom AIHRC durchgeführten Studie, in deren Rahmen 102 Schulen in Afghanistan (89 öffentliche Schulen und 13 Privatschulen) mittels Fragebogen befragt wurden, nur 5,6 Prozent der öffentlichen Schulen (fünf Einrichtungen) in der Lage gewesen, während des Lockdowns und der Schulschließungen Online-Unterricht anzubieten. Bei den Privatschulen habe dieser Anteil bei 84,6 Prozent gelegen (elf Einrichtungen). Wie die AIHRC bemerkt, sei das Programm des Bildungsministeriums zur Umsetzung von Online-Unterricht „nicht sehr effektiv“ gewesen, da viele Schüler·innen aufgrund von Armut, fehlendem Internetzugang sowie fehlender Stromversorgung nicht in der Lage gewesen seien, an diesem Programm teilzunehmen (AIHRC, 21. November 2020; vgl. auch SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 150-151 und UN Women/UNICEF/HRW, 14. Oktober 2020). Bis zu 70 Prozent der Bevölkerung hätten keinen Zugang zu Strom (The Diplomat, 17. November 2020). Laut Daten, die von Save the Children in sechs Provinzen des Landes erhoben wurden, hätten nur 28,6 Prozent der Kinder und Jugendlichen über das Fernsehen, 13,8 Prozent über Radioprogramme und 0,2 Prozent über das Internet Zugang zu Fernunterricht (Save the Children, 14. September 2020).

Laut Daten der Weltbank aus dem Jahr 2017 haben nur etwa 11,4 Prozent der Bevölkerung Zugang zum Internet (Weltbank, ohne Datum). Da 55 Prozent der Bevölkerung unter der Armutsgrenze leben würden, könnten sich viele Familien einen Internetzugang oder Geräte zur Nutzung des Internets nicht leisten. Darüber hinaus seien viele Eltern nicht in der Lage, ihre Kinder zu Hause beim Lernen zu unterstützen, da nur 30 Prozent aller Frauen und 55 Prozent aller Männer im Land lese- und schreibkundig seien (HRW, 18. Juni 2020; vgl. auch UN Women/UNICEF/HRW, 14. Oktober 2020).

Angesichts der sich verschlechternden Wirtschaftssituation und des damit verbundenen Drucks auf Schüler·innen, Arbeit zu finden, um ihre Familie zu unterstützen (SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 151; vgl. auch USDOS, 30. März 2021, Section 7c) sei es denkbar, dass viele Kinder und Jugendliche nicht mehr zum Schulunterricht zurückkehren würden (SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 151).

Dieses Risiko bestehe in besonderem Maße für arbeitende Kinder (IOM, März 2021, S. 10) und Mädchen. Laut Auskunftspersonen, die von HRW im Rahmen einer Studie befragt wurden, würden Mädchen, die nicht zur Schule gingen, in stärkerem Maße für Haushaltsarbeiten herangezogen. Mädchen seien zudem häufiger von sozialer Isolation betroffen und hätten seltener Zugang zum Internet (HRW, 18. Juni 2020; vgl. auch UN Women/UNICEF/HRW, 14. Oktober 2020). So hätten die meisten Mädchen nach Angaben einer für das Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) tätigen Bildungsexpertin keine Möglichkeit, das Internet zu nutzen. Sie hätten keine Handys oder Computer und oftmals würden Familien ihren Töchtern nicht erlauben, ins Distriktzentrum oder in die Provinzhauptstadt zu fahren, um dort das Internet zu nutzen und Unterrichtsmaterialien herunterzuladen (AAN, 1. Oktober 2020). Darüber hinaus könne Mädchen, die das Internet nutzen würden, sogar Gewalt drohen, wenn Familienmitglieder der Ansicht seien, dass sie über das Internet in Kontakt mit Jungen bzw. Männern kommen könnten (UN Women/UNICEF/HRW, 14. Oktober 2020).

Es wurden weitere externe Expert·innen zu dieser Fragestellung kontaktiert. Falls Antworten einlangen, liefern wir sie Ihnen umgehend nach.

Quellen: (Zugriff auf alle Quellen am 25. Mai 2021)

·      AAN - Afghanistan Analysts Network: Afghanistan Covid-19 in Afghanistan (7): The effects of the pandemic on the private lives and safety of women at home (Autorin: Khadija Hossaini), 1. Oktober 2020 (verfügbar auf ReliefWeb)
https://www.afghanistan-analysts.org/en/reports/economy-development-environment/covid-19-in-afghanistan-7-the-effects-of-the-pandemic-on-the-private-lives-and-safety-of-women-at-home/

·      AIHRC – Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission: Impact of Covid-19 on the Human Rights Situation of Children in Afghanistan, 21. November 2020
https://www.ecoi.net/en/document/2043813.html

·      BBC News: Kabul attack: Families bury schoolchildren of blast that killed dozens, 9. Mai 2021
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57046527

·      Etilaat Rooz: [Ausgangssperren und das doppelte Leid der Frauen Afghanistans: Gewalt gegen Frauen nimmt zu, wird aber weniger berichtet], 14. Mai 2020
https://www.etilaatroz.com/98544/womens-quarantine-and-double-suffering-in-afghanistan-violence-against-women-has-increased-but-is-less-reported/

·      HRW - Human Rights Watch: School Closures Hurt Even More in Afghanistan, 18. Juni 2020
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/06/18/school-closures-hurt-even-more-afghanistan

·      IOM – International Organization for Migration: Information on the socio-economic situation in the light of COVID-19 in Afghanistan requested by the Austrian Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum, März 2021
https://www.ecoi.net/en/file/local/2047399/2021_Afghanistan_COVID+19+Up-Date_Socioeconomic+Request.pdf

·      Nationaler Koordinator der Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) für den Bereich Kinderrechte, E-Mail-Auskunft, 18. Mai 2021

·      Oxfam: A New Scourge to Afghan Women: COVID-19, April 2020
https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/COVID%2019.%20A%20New%20Scourge%20to%20Afghan%20Women_OXFAM.pdf

·      Save the Children: “Everything has changed” – Children’s reflections on the impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan, 2020
https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/node/17878/pdf/everything_has_changed_-_childrens_reflections_on_the_impact_of_covid-19_in_afghanistanv2.pdf

·      Save the Children: Afghanistan: Eight in ten children say they’ve learnt little or nothing during Covid-19 lockdown, 14. September 2020
https://afghanistan.savethechildren.net/news/afghanistan-eight-ten-children-say-they%E2%80%99ve-learnt-little-or-nothing-during-covid-19-lockdown-2

·      SIGAR – Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction: Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, 30. April 2021
https://www.ecoi.net/en/file/local/2050829/2021-04-30qr.pdf

·      The Diplomat: Inside Afghanistan’s Education Crisis, 17. November 2020
https://thediplomat.com/2020/11/inside-afghanistans-education-crisis/

·      UN General Assembly / UN Security Council: The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security; Report of the Secretary-General [A/75/811–S/2021/252], 12. März 2021
https://www.ecoi.net/en/file/local/2048484/A_75_811_E.pdf

·      UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund: Afghanistan – Education, ohne Datum
https://www.unicef.org/afghanistan/education

·      UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund: The COVID-19 vaccine: opening Afghan classrooms and ushering in hope for a productive school year, 4. Mai 2021
https://www.unicef.org/rosa/stories/covid-19-vaccine-opening-afghan-classrooms-and-ushering-hope-productive-school-year

·      UN Women / UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund / HRW – Human Rights Watch: Gender Alert on Covid-19 Afghanistan, 14. Oktober 2020
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/10/14/gender-alert-covid-19-afghanistan

·      USDOS – US Department of State: 2020 Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Afghanistan, 30. März 2021
https://www.ecoi.net/de/dokument/2048097.htm

·      Weltbank: Individuals using the Internet (% of population) – Afghanistan, ohne Datum
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.ZS?locations=AF


 

Anhang: Quellenbeschreibungen und Informationen aus ausgewählten Quellen

Das Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) ist eine regierungsunabhängige, gemeinnützige Forschungsorganisation mit Hauptsitz in Kabul, die Analysen zu politischen Themen in Afghanistan und der umliegenden Region erstellt.

·      AAN - Afghanistan Analysts Network: Afghanistan Covid-19 in Afghanistan (7): The effects of the pandemic on the private lives and safety of women at home (Autorin: Khadija Hossaini), 1. Oktober 2020 (verfügbar auf ReliefWeb)
https://www.afghanistan-analysts.org/en/reports/economy-development-environment/covid-19-in-afghanistan-7-the-effects-of-the-pandemic-on-the-private-lives-and-safety-of-women-at-home/

„However, both the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) reported a rise in violence against women and girls during the lockdown, which started in late March. (The lockdown has not been officially lifted, but it unofficially ended in July/August, around Eid-ul Adha, or a few weeks after, depending on individual local measures.) [...]

Schools were closed for five months until re-opening in September this year as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. [...]

There have been some attempts to make up for the closure of schools during the pandemic. The Ministry of Education launched an online platform to provide home education through Alternative Learning Services. However, even with remote learning there can often be a gender gap. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) for example, had a programme to deliver home-based education to over 10,000 children during the pandemic. Saida Sherzad, an Education Specialist at the NRC, told AAN: 

There was a vast difference between who could and who could not receive an education [through the programme]. Most girls did not have access to the internet. They did not own a cell phone, let alone a computer, and families would often not allow their daughters to go to the centre of the district or province to access the internet and download the materials. [...]

One interviewee, a mother of four living with her husband’s extended family in the same house, spoke about her children and the difficulty of keeping them home to keep them safe.

My husband locked the gate to prevent the children from getting out. One day they stole the key and threw it away, so we were forced to break the lock. Most shops around our house were closed, so it took us a few days to replace the lock. In the meantime, the kids used the opportunity to escape from home. They were punished every time they went out, but they would still use any chance or pull any trick to get out. My husband is short-tempered and every time this happened the kids were beaten.” (AAN, 1. Oktober 2020)

Die Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) ist eine nationale Menschenrechtsinstitution Afghanistans, deren Aufgaben die Förderung, der Schutz und die Überwachung von Menschenrechten sowie die Untersuchung von Menschenrechts-verletzungen sind.

·      AIHRC – Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission: Impact of Covid-19 on the Human Rights Situation of Children in Afghanistan, 21. November 2020
https://www.ecoi.net/en/document/2043813.html

„Save the Children’s findings show that during the Covid-19 pandemic almost 10 million children didn’t have access to school.  The Ministry of Education’s online program was not very effective and many students were unable to use this program due to family poverty, lack of internet availability, and lack of electricity for telephones and computers.

According to this study, of 102 schools, including 89 public schools and 13 private schools, which completed the questionnaire, only five (5.6%) public schools and 11 (84.6%) private schools, have been able to offer online educational programs during quarantine and school closures; thus, 84 (94.4%) public schools, and two (15.4%) private schools, confirmed that they have been unable to offer online educational services during the quarantine period.

Based on the findings of this study, all schools that completed the questionnaire, both public and private, followed their curricula from the beginning of the textbooks. [...]

According to the Commission's database, the level of violence against children in the first six months of this year, during the quarantine period, was 141 cases, indicating a 13.5% decrease compared to the first six months of 1398, with 163 cases registered. Data from the Ministry of Interior also show that there have been 30 cases of violence against children during the quarantine, indicating a decrease of 68.4% compared to first six months in which 95 cases of violence against children were recorded. This reduction may be due to limitations on travel and movement during the quarantine period, which restricted victims’ opportunity to go to the judiciary and register the case, while the actual level of violence against children may have been much higher.

According to the Ministry of Interior, 9.6% of violence against children has been committed by their parents, 12% by other family members, and 78.4% by non-family members. [...]

According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Child Protection Secretariat) data there have been 2.1 million working children before the Coronavirus crisis, of which 1.3 million were engaged in hard labor, but this figure has risen dramatically since the outbreak of Coronavirus, and the overall number of working children has reached 2.5 million, of whom 1.5 million are engaged in hard labor.” (AIHRC, 21. November 2020)

Human Rights Watch ist eine internationale Nichtregierungsorganisation mit Sitz in New York City, die sich für den weltweiten Schutz der Menschenrechte einsetzt.

·      HRW - Human Rights Watch: School Closures Hurt Even More in Afghanistan, 18. Juni 2020
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/06/18/school-closures-hurt-even-more-afghanistan

„Online study works for few students. The World Bank estimates that only 14 percent of Afghans use the internet, and with 55 percent of people below the poverty line, many families cannot afford internet or devices to access it. With only 30 percent of women and 55 percent of men literate, many parents cannot help their children study.

Girls may be less likely to make it back to school. Respondents to the Human Rights Watch survey said that out-of-school girls face greater housework burdens, social isolation, and less internet access. [...]

Abuse at home is another risk. One respondent wrote, ‘Afghans live in big families.… If they stay home every day it leads to family violence and children are the victims normally.” Thirty-five percent of Afghan girls marry as children, and being out of school is associated with child marriage. Afghan girls who did not study are 3 times as likely to marry before age 18 as girls who completed secondary education.” (HRW, 18. Juni 2020)

Die International Organization for Migration (IOM) ist eine weltweite und völkerrechtliche Organisation im UN-System, die auf nationaler und zwischenstaatlicher Ebene operationale Programme im Bereich Migration durchführt.

·      IOM – International Organization for Migration: Information on the socio-economic situation in the light of COVID -19 in Afghanistan requested by the Austrian Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum, März 2021
https://www.ecoi.net/en/file/local/2047399/2021_Afghanistan_COVID+19+Up-Date_Socioeconomic+Request.pdf

„According to various sources such as UNICEF the corona pandemic has had a severe economic impact on vulnerable groups, children and families. They were affected by multiple shocks with urgent, life-saving services. Therefore, child work was used by many poor families as a coping mechanism for the impacts of COVID-19 across the country. Further, the types of work children are undertaking – such as informal street work, including begging – exposes children to high risk of exploitation and abuse.

Overall, the crisis and its economic hardships led to an increase in child labor since its start 2020. [...] In average, in the first months of 2021, one in three children was sent to work. Increases in child labour are most reported in non-urban areas such as Saripul (61%) and Ghor (57%)17. These two regions faced additional hardship due to drought.

In addition to the rise in child labor, school closures during 2020 (in winter semester 2020/2021 schools were opened only for 6 weeks) will have lasting impacts on already fragile demographics. Very likely, girls and child labourers will have a higher risk of dropping out from school.” (IOM, März 2021, S. 10)

Oxfam ist ein im Vereinigten Königreich ansässiger internationaler Verbund von Hilfs- und Entwicklungsorganisationen.

·      Oxfam: A New Scourge to Afghan Women: COVID-1, April 2020
https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/COVID%2019.%20A%20New%20Scourge%20to%20Afghan%20Women_OXFAM.pdf

„COVID-19 has severe consequences for the financial wellbeing of many families, as quarantine measures and sporadic border closures lead to loss of income and increase in prices. [...]

Additionally, prevailing social norms often result in women and girls receiving less food than men and boys in a household when food is running low. Other expected negative coping mechanisms include increased forced marriages and the selling of daughters.” (Oxfam, April 2020, S. 6)

Save the Children ist eine internationale Nichtregierungsorganisation mit Hauptsitz in London, die sich für die Rechte und den Schutz von Kindern weltweit einsetzt.

·      Save the Children: “Everything has changed” – Children’s reflections on the impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan, 2020
https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/node/17878/pdf/everything_has_changed_-_childrens_reflections_on_the_impact_of_covid-19_in_afghanistanv2.pdf

„Since 14 March, all schools and early childhood development centers in Afghanistan have been closed and the Government recently extended the closure until at least the end of August, meaning that continuity of education is interrupted for approximately 10 million school-aged girls and boys. [...]

With the inability to attend school and tensions rising in their homes, many children are exposed to wide-ranging protection concerns. It has been reported by the UN that child protection issues have been increasing due to the COVID-19 lockdown. ‘We’re faced with fights and arguments among our family members,’ said Marzia, 10, Nangarhar.’ (Save the Children, 2020, S. 7)

Moreover, there is a rise in exploitation of children as a negative coping mechanism, including child labour with children aged between 10 and 16 years increasingly involved in carrying loads, shoe polishing, car washing and collection of garbage in the street, which also presents further exposure to COVID-19.

Prior to the start of COVID-19 in Afghanistan, 3.7 million children were out of school—deprived of not only their rights as children by international law but also by Afghanistan’s Law on the Protection of Child Rights.” (Save the Children, 2020, S. 8)

·      Save the Children: Afghanistan: Eight in ten children say they’ve learnt little or nothing during Covid-19 lockdown, 14. September 2020
https://afghanistan.savethechildren.net/news/afghanistan-eight-ten-children-say-they%E2%80%99ve-learnt-little-or-nothing-during-covid-19-lockdown-2

„In the six months since the pandemic was announced, the most vulnerable children have disproportionately missed out on access to education, healthcare, food, and suffered the greatest protection risks. In Afghanistan, Save the Children surveyed 351 children and their caregivers as well as 129 respondents from the general public via social media, as part of a wider global survey on the impact of COVID-19 on children’s lives. [...]

The Afghanistan survey revealed:

- Two-thirds (64%) of the children surveyed had no contact with teachers at all, during lockdown.

- Eight in ten children believed they had learned little or nothing since schools closed.

- Less than 1 in every 20 children (4.6%) had at least one daily check-in with a teacher.

- 3 in every 10 (30%) children reported some violence at home during COVD19 lockdowns while for caregivers it was 1 in every 4 caregivers (26%)

 - One in three households in rural areas had difficulties accessing learning materials compared to one in five households in the urban areas. [...]

The global survey revealed, among other things: [...]

- Violence at home doubled when schools were closed. The reported rate was 17% compared to 8% when schools were open and the child was able to attend in person. [...]

Education has suffered greatly in Afghanistan due to conflict. While some progress has been made in recent years, such as the passing of a new law last year which guarantees children equal access to education, many challenges remain. Before COVID-19, 3.7 million children were already out-of-school and when schools closed due to the pandemic, nearly 10 million more lost access to education. [...]

Save the Children’s research shows that across six Afghan provinces, just 28.6% of children can access distance learning programmes through TV, 13.8% through radio programming, and 0.2% through the internet.” (Save the Children, 14. September 2020)

Der Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) ist die Aufsichtsbehörde der US-Regierung für den Wiederaufbau Afghanistans.

·      SIGAR – Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction: Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, 30. April 2021
https://www.ecoi.net/en/file/local/2050829/2021-04-30qr.pdf

„To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Afghan government initially closed schools on March 14, 2020. Schools had a phased reopening from August to October 2020, but as Afghanistan faced a second wave of COVID-19, the Afghan government announced in late November 2020 that schools would once again close with final exams postponed until the following year. Afghan schools reopened and held their postponed exams this quarter. Beginning on February 28, 2021, grades 4–12 held their end-of-year exams and, on March 10, grade 1–3 exams were held. In some highly populated cities like Kabul, schools opened on February 28, 2021; in colder areas, the new school year began on March 23, 2021. Universities resumed classes on March 6, 2021. [...] Despite the MOE working to ensure students had remote access to educational material and coursework during the school closures, such efforts were hampered by lack of electricity, electrical load shedding, and limited access to the internet, with only 14% of Afghans using the internet, according to World Bank data. [...] Given the worsening economy and the pressure on students to find work to help support their families, among other challenges, many students may not find their way back into school.” (SIGAR, 30. April 2021, S. 150-151)

The Diplomat ist ein internationales Online-Nachrichtenmagazin mit Redaktionssitz in Tokio, das politische, gesellschaftliche und kulturelle Themen der Asien-Pazifik-Region behandelt.

·      The Diplomat: Inside Afghanistan’s Education Crisis, 17. November 2020
https://thediplomat.com/2020/11/inside-afghanistans-education-crisis/

„Zahra Hamidi was preparing to go back to her senior year of school in late March 2020 after the three-month winter break. Then COVID-19 swept through Kabul, and schools went into lockdown. At the end of the lockdown in the summer, COVID-19 was still spreading and schools remained shut. And Hamidi, 20, was working as a tailor to help her family survive the pandemic, instead of distance learning.

Before the lockdown, Hamidi enjoyed family support for her education and was set to graduate from high school this year. But the lockdown left her father, a middle-aged manual laborer, in despair, as his daily income dried up. Hamidi and her young sister set up shop as dress tailors working out of their home, taking over financial responsibility of the eight-member household. Within months, Hamidi became a full-time tailor instead of a senior high school student.

When public schools reopened in the fall, Hamidi was two weeks late in signing up for her class. She said she was sent to another class in vain. As she remains the breadwinner of her family, she faces long odds of returning to school and graduating. [...]

In Afghanistan, the COVID-19 response has hit education hard, which has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable students like Hamidi. Nationwide school closures have added to the challenges already facing the country’s education sector, which has struggled to meet the public’s high enthusiasm for education in recent years. Even as schools reopen, the long-criticized curriculum and textbooks remain an area of contention for the country.

‘Afghanistan was already facing a learning crisis,’ said Freshta Karim, founder of Charmaghz, a mobile library for children in Kabul. ‘The most vulnerable children – girls and child laborers –were at higher risk of dropping out with schools closed for months.’

With the country’s academic year running between March and December, the national lockdown in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic dragged the winter break out into the summer. The education ministry promoted distance learning using radio and TV stations, but as much as 70 percent of the population has no access to electricity. [...]

Even as the country reopened, schools remained closed for months. On August 22, the Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry finally reopened universities and the senior and junior classes of public schools along with private schools. The Health Ministry said that reopening educational institutions did not lead to a rise in COVID-19 cases, but public elementary and primary schools remained shut for another month. [...]

On September 29, the public elementary and primary schools reopened for school children after 10 consecutive months of break. A month and a half later, on November 15, the Education Ministry announced November 20 as the beginning of the winter break, meaning Afghanistan’s schools will have, in essence, skipped one academic year due to the pandemic. The long time out of school increased the chance of dropouts and children falling behind in their education, as young children disengaged from textbooks, said Karim.

The school closure coupled with economic hardship caused by the pandemic could have pushed a new record number of children out of school and forced them into child labor. In a country where 90 percent of the population lives on less $2 a day and desperate families rely on children for their survival, the pandemic has left invisible scars on children. [...]

Even before COVID-19, the Education Ministry said 5 million children were already out of school. PenPath, a non-profit education organization in Afghanistan, disputes the estimate, putting their own estimate at 6 million children. As many as 1,500 schools remain closed, according to PenPath, but as the war drags on, more schools could be closed.“ (The Diplomat, 17. November 2020)

Die Generalsversammlung (UN General Assembly) und der Sicherheitsrat (UN Security Council) gehören zu den Hauptorganen der Vereinten Nationen.

·      UN General Assembly / UN Security Council: The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security; Report of the Secretary-General [A/75/811–S/2021/252], 12. März 2021
https://www.ecoi.net/en/file/local/2048484/A_75_811_E.pdf

„Women and children continue to face extremely high levels of violence. Access to justice remains far too difficult for victims of gender-based violence. Lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic have heightened the risk of violence faced by women and children and made it still more difficult for victims to report violence to government authorities.” (UN General Assembly / UN Security Council, S. 14)

UN Women ist ein Organ der Vereinten Nationen, das sich mit den Themenbereichen Geschlechtergleichstellung und Empowerment befasst. Der United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) ist das Kinderhilfswerk der Vereinten Nationen.

·      UN Women / UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund / HRW – Human Rights Watch: Gender Alert on Covid-19 Afghanistan, 14. Oktober 2020
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/10/14/gender-alert-covid-19-afghanistan

„School in Afghanistan is not free, even though government primary and secondary schools do not charge fees. Families of students at government schools are expected to provide supplies, which can include pens, pencils, notebooks, uniforms, and school bags. Many children also have to pay for at least some government textbooks. The government is responsible for supplying textbooks, but often books do not arrive on time, or there are shortages, perhaps in some cases due to theft or corruption. In these cases, children need to buy the books from a bookstore to keep up with their studies. These indirect costs are enough to keep many children from poor families out of school, especially girls, as families that can afford to send only some of their children often give preference to boys.

Poverty drives many children into paid or informal labor before they are even old enough to go to school. At least a quarter of Afghan children between ages 5 and 14 work for a living or help their families, including 27% of 5 to 11-year-olds. [...]

On 14 March 2020, as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, all schools and educational institutions in Afghanistan were closed. More than 9.5 million children in public schools and 500,000 children enrolled in community-based education classes, in addition to the 3.7 million out-of-school children in Afghanistan, have now been out of school for nearly seven months. On 22 August 2020, government schools across the country reopened for grades 12-7. Private schools were permitted to re-open for grades 12-1. [...]

School closures and disruption of education due to the COVID-19 health crisis have already harmed many children in Afghanistan by further weakening their already tenuous access to education. The pandemic coincides with an often worsening and unpredictable security situation and ongoing armed conflict, and concerns that already declining donor funding could fall further in the wake of COVID-19. The health crisis is compounding existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, further limiting access to education for children who were already marginalized. [...]

The protracted closures of schools, and the lack of adequate distance learning measures, severely impacted children’s learning, particularly impacting Afghanistan’s most marginalized children. Lack of available, accessible education materials and restricted access to internet--with only 14% of Afghans using the internet[58] --has restricted opportunities for distance learning. With low rates of literacy, many parents were not able to provide academic support to their children to continue studying at home. An assessment conducted in Herat, Badghis and Ghor found that 53% of households did not practice home schooling for their children and 30.8% of caregivers said they were not able to provide any type of support in terms of homeschooling and education to their children. 76% of the respondents reported that they needed learning and school materials.

Girls are less likely to be able to study remotely, including because they are much more likely than boys to be assigned housework and caring for younger siblings. There is also sometimes resistance to girls and women using technological devices and the internet, and they may even face violence if they do, due to the idea that these devices may expose them to contact with men and boys.(UN Women/UNICEF/HRW, 14. Oktober 2020)

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