Afghanistan - Labor

Afghanistan's labor force is estimated at 10 million. As of 2002, 85% of the economically active population was engaged in agriculture. The textile industry is the largest employer of industrial labor; weaving of cloth and carpets is the most important home industry. In 1978, the government established the Central Council of Afghanistan Trade Unions in order to develop the trade union movement. In the mid-1980s, the council had some 285,000 members. Under the Taliban, the government did not have the means to enforce worker rights, as there was no functioning constitution or legal framework that defined them. Little was known about labor laws and practices under Taliban rule. There is no information pertaining to minimum wages or work hours and conditions. The vast majority of workers are in the informal economy. Children as young as six years old are reportedly working to help sustain their families.

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