Human Rights Watch says children in Afghanistan work long hours for little or no pay, in labor-intensive industries, including carpet-weaving, brick-making, mining, metal work and farming.
The findings came in a new HRW report on child labor in Afghanistan, released on Thursday.
The New York-based group says many are driven to hazardous work by extreme poverty.
HRW notes that Afghanistan’s labor law bans children under 14 from work and that Afghanistan has ratified international treaties on child labor.
However, the report says Afghan authorities are failing to protect “tens of thousands of children, some as young as 5, from hazardous conditions.”