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Decades of insecurity have strongly affected the children in Afghanistan. Under-five mortality rates are among the highest in the world and both health and education systems suffer from poor finances, lack of qualified professionals, and security problems.

The Afghan Constitution has established the right to education for all Afghan nationals. However, the level of insecurity in many parts of the country prevents the vast majority of girls from attending school. But even in conflict-free areas, Afghan girls continue to face immense obstacles to education such as lack of girls’ schools, sexual harassment en route to school, and early marriage, which tend to prematurely end schooling.

Also, as a part of their campaign of terrorizing the civilian population, Taliban and other insurgent groups continously target schools, especially girls' schools. Because of decades of conflict, Afghanistan is scattered with landmines and other explosives killing many people each month, most of which are children.

Children's involvement in work is common in Afghanistan and is often another reason for not attending school. The UN special representative for children and armed conflict drew attention in 2008 to the taboo practice of bacha bazi (keeping boys as sex slaves by wealthy or powerful patrons). The government of Afghanistan has done little to tackle this abusive cultural tradition. Corporal punishment is widely used and recognized, though to a certain extent is not entirely socially accepted. Physical violence exists to varying degrees within all families interviewed and most commonly children experienced slapping, verbal
abuse, punching, kicking, and hitting with thin sticks, electrical cables and shoes. 

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