Desperate Afghans forced to sell young girls, even babies, into ...

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Desperate Afghans forced to sell young girls, even babies, into marriage

Poverty has driven up the rate of child marriage since the Taliban seized power three months ago

Emma Batha and Shadi Khan Saif

Jobless and engulfed in debt, Afghan brick kiln worker Fazal said the country’s imploding economy had left him with a stark choice — marry off his young daughters, or risk the family starving to death.

Last month, he received a $3,000 dowry payment after handing over his 13- and 15-year-old daughters to men more than twice their age. If the money runs out, he may have to marry off his seven-year-old, he said.

“I had no other way to feed my family and pay off my debt. What else could I have done?” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from the Afghan capital, Kabul. “I desperately hope I won’t have to marry off my youngest daughter.”..

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