Afghan families report being forced to sell their children to survive

Afghan families report being forced to sell their children to make ends meet

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August, the country’s economy has been on the brink of collapse. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, destitute families in the country are being forced to sell their children to pay off outstanding debts.

The publication highlighted the predicament of a mother identified only as Saleha, who told them how she borrowed money previously from a man, and now owes him £400 (€474). She is working in the western city of Herat as a cleaner, and earning only the equivalent of 50p (€0.59) each day.

Before the Taliban took over, Saleha had been working with her family on a farm in Badghis, but they had to flee. This is what led her to borrow the money to feed the family. Her husband, who is much older, has no work.

The moneylender even confirmed he would take the daughter as payment

Saleha reportedly told the WSJ, “If life continues to be this awful, I will kill my children and myself. I don’t even know what we will eat tonight”, Her husband, Abdul Wahab, told them, “I will try to find money to save my daughter’s life”.

This moneylender, Khalid Ahmad, has reportedly even confirmed to the WSJ that he would write off the debt if 40-year-old Saleha sells him her three-year-old daughter Najiba. He told them, “I also don’t have money. They haven’t paid me back, so there is no option but to take the daughter”.

As the humanitarian crisis threatens to totally cripple Afghanistan, other residents of Herat have also apparently told the newspaper similar stories of repaying debts by having to sell their children. This is in a country where a third of the population has to survive on an income of less than $2 (€1.70) per day, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at