According to a new survey by Save the Children, many Afghan children feel unsafe when they go outside their house, especially on their way to school, the marketplace or when they are close to government buildings or checkpoints.
Two-thirds of parents surveyed in parts of Afghanistan by the Save the Children said that their children are scared of explosions, kidnappings or other forms of extreme violence on their journeys to school. About 600 parents and 90 children across four provinces participated in the survey.
“Only 30 percent of children feel safe at school, with girls feeling less safe than boys,” the Save the Children said.
Other key findings of the report include: 62% of parents said their children had experienced conflict, 38% reported that children harm themselves as a result, 73% of parents said their children experienced mental problems including fear, anxiety, sadness and insomnia due to conflict.
“We are calling on warring parties to consider children’s safety during war and conflicts,” said Mariam Atahi, the Spokesperson for Save the Children.
An official from the Ministry of Education (MoE) confirms that 400 schools are still closed across Afghanistan due to conflicts.
“Some schools are closed temporarily due to war and insecurity, but they were reopened. Four-hundred schools are still closed in Afghanistan,” said Nooria Nuhzat Nejrabi, a Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education.
The use of schools as polling centers during elections is said to be the main reason of violence at educational facilities.