Child Labor and Nepal
A lot of Nepali kids work in factories such as carpet factories, coal mines, in stone quarries, road construction, as a helper in garment industries, as an assistant to bus driver, as a conductor, dishwasher in restaurants, and also as a servant in thousands of mid-class to rich-class Nepalese homes. These kids are as young as 11 years of age and they should not be working.
What Nepali Law Says ?
According to Nepalese law, a child is a person who has not completed 16 years of age, and by law they are not to work as a child. And if they were to work, they must be at least 14 years of age, and work no more than six hours a day, must not work during 6 p.m. to 6.a.m. shift, and finally, and they must get a half an hour break for every three hours of work.
Further more, law clearly writes, that nobody should pressure child to work. Now, all that only applies to books but not on the ground. Like most third world countries suffering from child labor, Nepal has it’s own share of problems; poverty, lack of education and lack of employment opportunities for parents.
School is Optional
Nepal has yet to enforce law to make it mandatory for all kids to attend school. Primary reason for Nepal to not have such law, isn’t always about the poverty but also lack of support by government. To enforce this law effectively without hurting the daily lives of families is difficult as these families would need other choice to depend. Nearly everyone in rural villages must work daily for mere food which comes to the table only through the join efforts of the family. They have no savings for future.
Civil Wars and Kids
Nepali Kids don’t have the rights to live and grow in a peaceful environment which is further damaged by conflicts among people and the Nepali government. In the last twenty years or so, many kids have been hurt year after year by civil war, political unrest, and newer governments unavailable to solve child’s basic rights.
Due to recent earthquake, hundreds of thousands of kids live in constant fear and depression, and families have a growing concern of their future. Professional from health sector agree that Earthquake of 2015 will have a long lasting affect on the Nepalese kids, specially in their mental and overall health. In country’s last civil war, as many as five hundreds kids were killed and fifteen thousand adults were also accounted for.
Kids reach cities with hope for a better life, and many with goal of earning to support their family back in the villages. Their dreams are shattered by city’s brutal reality which soon turns their life into street beggars, homeless, helpless and easy pray for exploitation. There are reports, kids as young as 11 years of age are sold to sex slave in near by countries such as India.
Long way To Go
There are none profit organizations in many parts of the cities in Nepal to help with kids. As kids don’t find it easy to report crimes, sex abuse, and their exploitation continues to grow. Even with all the helps, Nepali kids suffer from basic human rights including the rights to education and this will continue unless all Nepalese work together to solve this problem before anything else.
Child Labor Facts :
- Nepal’s Economic activity by boys and girls aged 10 to 14 is 42.07%. Nepal is the world’s 6th child labor country.
- About 5 million Nepali children are working under the extreme hardship
- Of all the child labors, nearly 60% are girls
- Half of the country’s children have no access to primary school
- About 5000 kids work and sleep on the streets
- Nearly half the kids in Nepal work
- Girls work longer hours than boys
- More than 10,000 girls are trafficked every year
- 20% of the sex workers in Nepal are under age of 16
- 1.7 million children in Nepal are engaged in economic activity
- More kids work in the mountains than in any other
- More than 30,000 child laborers work in 1,600 stone quarries in Nepali
- More than one million kids in Nepal work without pay and many work as bonded laborers
Today, with support from none profit organization such as United Nations and Save the Children U.S.A, the rate of child labor has been reduced but it is very difficult to measure just how much. Some also argue that these organizations having a long establishment in the country, asking for a question on their effectiveness isn’t a uncommon among Nepalese. Child labor in Nepal will eventually go away when the people and government of Nepal find a solution to look after them then move on to other problems faced by the country. Kids are the future of a nation.