you can read the English transcripts of the interviews with
working children who have been featured in Children
father was injured during the war. He lost one leg and so
he can't work any more. I've got brothers who are all younger
than me, we work from seven o'clock in the morning till four
o'clock every day except Friday. Moreover I work at home on
the field. I get tired but what can I do? I have to earn money.
If I had money I would go to school, I am interested in learning.
I also want to learn religious things, but there is no Mullah,
who could teach us.'
'I am ten years old. My father was an engineer. One day one
of his colleagues came to our house and asked him to sign
some documents. My father went to the gate to meet him when
a rocket came and blew off my dad's head. My father's remains
were blasted on to my mother. My brother, whom my father was
holding in his arms, suffered head injuries.
After a few minutes the United Nation's ambulance arrived
and took my father's body to the hospital. My Mum was running
around, but nobody could help her. My father had dreamt that
I would became a doctor, and I am determined to fulfil his
Interviewer: When your aunt purchases things for her daughters
and buys a shirt for you as well what do you feel?
Do you wish that your own Mum gave it to you?
'Yes of course, I would like my own Mum to give it to me with
her own hands. Nobody can replace a mother.
'Were you separated from your mother in order to attend a
'Yes. I came here to study. Education is not available in
Kabul. The Taliban are there. In the boys' school there, three
hundred pupils are taught by just one teacher. We ask Taliban
not to beat women. They are our sisters and they should respect
our mothers and sisters.'
how old are you?'
'9 years old'.
Interviewer:'How many sisters and brothers have you got?'
'6 sisters and 7 brothers.'
does your father do?'
Interviewer:' Are you the only one in your family who works?'
' How do you spend the money that you earn from rugs weaving?'
'Buying stationery for my school bag and paying for family
am 13 years old. I am here because of suffering. My father
died, my eldest brother also died, only my mother is left.
Each day or two after I have finished on the streets, I go
and see my Mum to give her some money. Daily I can make about
twenty or thirty thousand meticais (less than thirty cents).
White people and even local people give me money.
I lost my place at school because of money. But if someone
came up with the money to register me at school I could go
to school. My dream is to become something like a director
are looking for money to buy clothes for us, dresses, skirts,
material for shawls. Sometimes the police take us to their
station to do some cleaning, to sweep their quarters, to wash
their car. When they find us with money they take it. One
day I was taken by a white man. I went with him and he said
if I slept with him he would give me one hundred thousand
meticais (a little more than eight dollars). I cannot lie.
I slept with him and he gave me the money.'
been in this business for three months now.'
Interviewer: 'Why do you do it?'
'I do it because life is difficult. It's very difficult. It's
not easy to get a job. What can we do? We have children to
raise. We have to be in this business.'
Interviewer: 'How much are you paid by your clients?'
'In dollars about 70 or 100.'
Interviewer: 'What do you do for seventy dollars?'
'We buy things for us and our children. The rest is for partying!'
Interviewer:'No, what I am trying to find out is if you can
earn more money by having sex without any protection.'
'No, it is difficult to find prostitutes who don't use condoms,
because of diseases. Things are really bad.'
Interviewer: 'Do the police arrest you?'
'Oh yes, that's their job. What can we do, they are always
showing up. They run after us. If we are caught we are in
trouble.If we are lucky then they take us to a police station.
If they take us somewhere else then we expect the worst.'
Interviewer: 'You have been raped by policemen?'
'Not all of them, but most of them,yes.'
Interviewer: 'Do you come here every night?'
'Not me. When I have enough money I stay at home for 3 or
4 days. Then I come back.'
Interviewer: 'How many clients do you have a night?'
'Sometimes I have only 3. It depends on your luck. Other times
I have more clients.'
'When the policemen come they take us and use us and put
us in a cell,'
Interviewer: 'Have you been raped by policemen?'
'Yes several times.'
Interviewer: 'Have you made any complaints?'
'No, I never complain. Even if I did nobody would pay attention.
Who can I complain to? I can only keep quiet and do what I
father was an engineer.
day one of his colleagues came to our house ...My
father went to the gate to meet him, when a rocket came
and blew off my father's head.'
'My father had dreamt that I would become a doctor.
I am determined to fulfil his wishes.'
do you spend the money that you earn from weaving rugs?'
'Buying stationery for my school bag and paying family
lost my place at school because of money.
But if somebody came up with the money to register me
at school I could go.
My dream - it is to become something like a director
day I was taken by a white man.
I cannot lie, I slept with him and he gave me money.'