Sold at 5 years old for 10,000 Afghanis (108 euros): in Afghanistan, the return of forced marriages

At 10, Sherafzada has the serious gaze of children who have had no childhood. Her huge green eyes, her hemmed lips, her light brown hair are a real curse in a region where there has been famine, drought and war for so long: her beauty increases her rating on the market for little girls for sale in the tribes . She never went to school.

In the morning, she pushes her wheelbarrow loaded with plastics and rubbish that she will sell for a few afghanis (a few euro cents) to second-hand dealers. In the afternoon, she will help her mother with the domestic chores that a large family generates. And if the day has been good, there will be a piece of flatbread or some rice to share in the evening. The father, a peasant from the district of Bala Murghab, in the northwest of the country, had to abandon his herd because of the successive droughts in the region, he contracted debts, then other debts to settle the first , and ended up going to jail five times because he couldn’t repay.

A climate and war refugee, he had to decide to sell Sherafzada for 60,000 Afghanis (652 euros). Then the youngest, Arifa, barely 1 year and a half, for 10,000 Afghanis (108 euros). It was the buyer, a wealthy farmer, who chose among his daughters. The “deal” for Sherafzada, concluded before the return of the Taliban to power, provides that she will remain with her family until her puberty. In a year, two at most, she will go home

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