Essay On Child Labor In Nepal How To Share

KATHMANDU, Nepal – On a cool spring day last year, Dorje Lama was playing soccer at the brick kiln where he worked when the ground began to shake. It turned out to be a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the worst in Nepal’s history, which would claim the lives of 9,000 people and lurch Kathmandu 10 feet south.

The powerful tremor that stuck on April 25, 2015, forced hundreds of brick kilns across Nepal to shut down, including the one Dorje had labored at since he ran away from family some three years earlier. Destitute and homeless, the 12-year-old boy fled with what few belongings he could salvage and made his way 230 miles west to the Indian border town of Rupaidiha.

Dorje wandered the streets for several days before meeting Ali Hasan, the son of a man who ran a mule train. Claiming he was overwrought by Dorje’s story, Mr. Hasan convinced his father to take him in. “He is like a brother to me now,” Hasan says.

Hasan and his father brought Dorje back to Nepal – along with 14 older boys and 44 mules – at the start of this year’s brickmaking season. They had been hired to transport bricks at another kiln near Kathmandu. Dorje’s job would be to cook and help load bricks onto the mules for up to 11 hours a day – and less than 20 cents an hour. It was as if the quake had never uprooted him from the life he knew well.

Human rights groups see an opportunity to bring pioneering change to one of the world’s most exploitative industries.

“I plan to do this the rest of my life,” he says with a sullen gaze as he crouches in the hut he shares with the Hasans and the other boys.

Human rights groups patently hope that isn’t the case. In fact, they see in the quake an opportunity to bring pioneering change to one of the world’s most exploitative industries, using the relief aid pouring into Nepal to force kiln operators to stop using child labor.

“This is it,” says Homraj Acharya, who runs an organization called Better Brick Nepal. “If we are not able to do it this time, it’s going to take God knows how many years.”

Whether the earthquake will add to the ranks of child laborers or lead to reformation of the brickmaking industry is a question being watched around the world. Developing countries often face similar pressures after natural disasters: amid widespread destruction and the need for quick progress, they must figure out how to hold down reconstruction costs while protecting their most vulnerable people.

Those challenges – combined with the chaos fueled by the swelling number of homeless families – afford traffickers and opportunistic employers ideal cover for recruiting children. Forced labor spiked in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami that devastated Indonesia in 2004 and the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. Nepal presents one of the clearest tests yet of whether a natural disaster can be the catalyst for curbing such an entrenched and long-accepted practice.

PBS NewsHour special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports on efforts to end child labor in Nepal’s brick industry.

A year after the earthquake, Kathmandu remains filled with heaps of rubble. Tottering buildings are propped up with wooden buttresses. Outside this ramshackle capital, many people still live in temporary shelters made of salvaged wood and corrugated tin sheets. The government estimates the quake destroyed some 600,000 homes and severely damaged 280,000 more across the country. Many of them will be reconstructed with the bricks produced by the nation’s vast network of kilns.

Dorje was among the thousands of children who went to work at them once they were fired back up. But the arc of his life would soon change again.

The International Labor Organization estimates that 168 million children are in the labor force worldwide. In Nepal, a nation of 28 million people, 1.6 million children between the ages of five and 17 are forced to work – or 21 percent of all children in the country. As many as 60,000 of them work in brick kilns, according to Global Fairness Initiative, a Washington-based international development organization. Many work up to 15 hours a day in dangerous conditions for little to no pay.

Dorje was among the thousands of children who went to work at the nation’s kilns once they were fired back up. But the arc of his life would soon change.

Mohna Ansari, a commissioner on the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, says those numbers shot up after last year’s earthquake. An estimated 1 million children were living in the 14 hardest hit districts when it struck. In its post-disaster needs assessment, the Nepalese government warned that vulnerable families faced “disastrous consequences” and that children faced a heightened risk of human trafficking and child labor.

The risks are especially acute within the brick industry. As reconstruction gets under way this spring, Jaya Ram Lamichhane, former president of Nepal’s contractor federation, estimates the demand for bricks will double. It’s easy to see why. The quake toppled ancient temples and flattened entire villages. By the time the convulsions stopped, nearly 2 million people were left homeless. Thousands of schools, government offices, and other buildings need to be repaired or replaced.

The concern is what the rising demand for bricks will mean for the Dorjes of the world. Labor experts and child rights activists say that unless the industry is reformed, much of the country will be rebuilt on the backs of children.

“Child labor in domestic brick production in Nepal is a big problem,” says Ms. Ansari. “Though, within the industry, there remains a reluctance to acknowledge that a problem exists.”

That’s where Mr. Acharya comes in. As one of the Nepal’s most prominent anti-child labor advocates, he’s spent the past two years focused almost exclusively on the brick industry. He’s visited more than 200 kilns and met with countless owners, workers, and government officials in his crusade for reform.

Men, women and children load and unload finished and unfinished bricks at a kiln on April 18, 2016 in the Dhading district, Nepal. Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

Better Brick Nepal, a pilot program launched in 2013 with funding from the philanthropic foundation Humanity United, is the culmination of Acharya’s work. The initiative provides technical support to 23 kilns to help them improve their production efficiency and brick quality. In return, the kilns must ban child labor – in addition to bonded and forced labor – and adopt environmental and other workplace reforms. The program’s aim is to create a market preference for ethically sourced bricks.

But Acharya, who is the group’s program director, wants to take his work a step further by leveraging the $4.1 billion international donors have pledged for reconstruction. He wants the funds to come with the stipulation that contractors who receive it have to buy their bricks from kilns that don’t employ child laborers.

“If you give money, you have the right to also demand responsibly produced materials,” says Acharya. “This is an opportunity to create a market in Nepal where people will be demanding child labor-free bricks.”

In other words, Acharya doesn’t want Nepal’s worst natural disaster in more than 80 years to go to waste.

Acharya is a barrel-chested man with a bald head and well-trimmed beard. He transitions effortlessly between his native Nepalese and fluent English, which he started studying while work as a water-buffalo herder in a dusty village in southwestern Nepal.

“If you are working in the fields, then you don’t get to study,” he says. “I choose the water buffalo herding so that I could ride on the buffalo and read.” He’d hold an English-Nepalese dictionary in one hand and in English grammar book in the other, all while making sure the animals didn’t stray into a neighbor’s field.

Acharya was studious and imaginative. He dreamed of leaving the village to attend school in Kathmandu. After he turned 16, he sold the water buffalo his grandparents had given him and took a bus to the capital with a sack of rice, a bottle of cooking oil, and about $140. He enrolled in a public college and taught at an elementary school to buy food and cover his rent and tuition. His family sold goats from their herd to help cover his expenses.

Five years later, Achayra received a generous scholarship from the University of Colorado at Boulder and moved to the United States, where he lived on and off for the next 17 years. He studied sociology at UC Boulder and got a master’s in international training and education at American University in Washington, D.C. He then took a job as an education policy adviser in the D.C. mayor’s office. It was a formative experience, but Acharya always knew he wanted to return to Nepal. In 2010, he finally did.

“The country had just gone through this huge change,” he says, referring to the end of a decade-long Maoist insurgency in 2006 and the abolition of Nepal’s monarchy in 2008. “There was so much enthusiasm. Basically it was a new nation in the making.”

Acharya’s first pursuit was the country’s tumultuous peace process. He traveled from village to village to encourage reconciliation as the executive director of the Non Resident Nepali Association. As hostilities gave way to a fitful peace, Acharya shifted his focus to child labor. Now he consults with owners and workers and stays on the lookout for child workers. The work is relentless: More than 100 kilns applied to join Better Brick Nepal last year, but the program only had the capacity to sign up an additional 18. Acharya plans to expand it to as many as 40 kilns next year.

Young men and boys stack bricks inside a kiln on April 14, 2016 in Dharke Bazar in the Dhading district, Nepal. Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

In the aftermath of the earthquake, Acharya expanded his attention to international development organizations and Nepalese contractors. His aim is to persuade them to give procurement preference to kilns that are certified as child labor free. GoodWeave International, a Washington-based advocacy organization that rescues child laborers and is in charge of the certification, finished inspecting 10 kilns partnered with Better Brick Nepal in early May.

Samjhana Pradhan, who heads GoodWeave’s certification division in Kathmandu, says that while her team is still preparing its final report, she has been impressed by the amount of progress made at almost every kiln. “It’s been a good start,” she says.

A poster that hangs outside the kiln’s main office spells out the code of conduct. Rule No. 1: No children under 14 years old are allowed to work.

The Rakta Kali brick kiln sitson a hill that overlooks green cabbage and cauliflower fields and a meandering river in the district of Dhading. It’s a two-hour drive west of Kathmandu along a steep, two-lane highway that winds past terraced rice paddies and mountain vistas that are often obscured by a thick haze.

Dozens of huts, stacks of raw bricks, and mounds of earthen clay dot the hillsides that surround the kiln. The kiln itself is a rectangular brick wall the size of a football field. A 50-foot-tall chimney stands on a raised area at its center. Workers stack raw bricks in 10-foot-high, zigzag rows inside the kiln before covering them with dirt. Then, a group of specially trained men, all from India, insert coarse ground coal in between the bricks through iron chutes.

The kiln continuously burns at up to 1,800 degrees Farenheit for the entire season, which starts in mid-December and lasts five to six months. “You can’t stand on it too long,” warns Shiva Regmi, one of the kiln’s owners. “It’ll melt the soles of your shoes.”

Rakta Kali is one of the 23 kilns partnered with Better Brick Nepal. Acharya’s team helped it set up an early childhood education center and improve its production methods to cut down on waste and pollution. A poster that hangs outside the kiln’s main office spells out the program’s code of conduct. Rule No. 1: No children under 14 years old are allowed to work.

“The reason we have zero tolerance is because if you allow some leeway, people will take advantage of it,” Acharya says. “They will push the boundaries.”

But enforcing the policy is a constant struggle. Kiln owners and the families they employ deny that children are forced to work, saying instead that children often want to help in their free time. The people who mold bricks are paid piecemeal, which gives them incentive to recruit their children to make as many as possible.

Take the case of Ritika Moktan, a 12-year-old girl with a ponytail and timid smile. When Better Brick Nepal partnered with Rakta Kali in December, the program’s staff helped Ritika enroll in a nearby school. Yet she still helps her parents in the mornings before her class starts. She says she doesn’t mind the work and that she does it in exchange for new clothes. So where should the line be drawn?

“That’s been a very difficult thing to distinguish,” Acharya says. “Clearly they’re going to school and their parents aren’t forcing them to work. But the law says that’s child labor.”

For Acharya, that’s all that matters. When Nakul Acharya, a local field organizer who is unrelated to Homraj Acharya, admits he hasn’t been telling families explicitly about the zero tolerance policy – instead merely encouraging them to send their children to school – Acharya shoots him a stern look. “If you’re not saying that, you need to,” he tells him.

Homraj Acharya helps a young girl with a writing lesson at an early childhood education center next to a brick kiln on April 14, 2016 in Dharke Bazar in the Dhading district, Nepal. As the director of Better Brick Nepal, a program aimed at eliminating child labor in brick kilns across the country, Mr. Acharya hopes to provide a better future for the children who call them home. Families are paid per brick, which incentivizes them to recruit their children to make as many as possible. BBN set up the education center last year in Dhading to offer them an alternative. Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

Rakta Kali has shown signs of progress over the past six months. In addition to opening the education center, the kiln has also improved its working conditions and technology. Child labor has been declining, but the kiln has yet to eliminate it completely. That has prevented it from being fast-tracked for certification by GoodWeave. Homraj Acharya remains confident that the kiln will get there.

“It’s easier to crack iron than change the minds of brick kiln owners,” he says. “We’re trying to change their thinking, but it’s a challenge because they’ve been doing it this way for generations. When an outsider comes and tries to change things, there’s always resistance.”

Mahendra Bahadur Chitrakar, president of the Federation of Nepal Brick Industries, bounces his right leg as he sits in his office on the western outskirts of Kathmandu. Piles of rubble are scattered outside, conspicuous reminders of all that the city has left to rebuild; the government estimates some 12 billion bricks will be required. With its 600 affiliated kilns, the federation is a key partner.

Mr. Chitrakar insists visitors would be hard pressed to find children working at any of them. He says the federation has threatened to revoke a few memberships in response to reports of child labor – he didn’t give an exact number – but that it hasn’t needed to follow through. According to him, a firm warning is all it takes for a member kiln to make changes. The federation has, consequently, refused to partner with Better Brick Nepal as long as the program requires independent child labor inspections.

“It’s easier to crack iron than change the minds of brick kiln owners.”

“Why should we let them grade us?” Chitrakar asks. “They are not part of the government. They are not our investors. They are not our forefathers. Why should we listen to them?”

The federation’s rebuff is just one of the many obstacles Archarya has run into over the past two years. Another has been governmental limitations. Uday Gupta, an undersecretary at the Ministry of Labor, says a shortage of resources has prevented the government from collecting even basic data and hampered its capacity to monitor kilns.

Jose Assalino, director of the International Labor Organization’s office in Kathmandu, says the lack of reliable information makes him skeptical of any program that claims to have the solution to eliminating child labor. Even the most well-intended programs run the risk of simply driving children to work in other industries.

“We need to look at the big picture,” Mr. Assalino says in an email. “Before any decision is taken there is a need for a detailed mapping on the use of children in the supply chain of the brick industry.”

Still, Archarya has found a growing base of supporters since the earthquake. The Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal has pledged to follow up on an agreement it signed in 2014 with the Global Fairness Initiative that gives procurement preference to kilns that don’t use child and bonded labor. The agreement was sidelined after the quake hit six months later, but the partnered organizations now appear eager to revive it.

More recently, Archarya hosted a meeting on April 20 with about 40 representatives from government offices, international development groups, and foreign embassies at a luxury hotel in central Kathmandu. The invitation described the three-hour event as a “high-level roundtable discussion and presentation on new opportunities for the transformation of Nepal’s brick sector.” Archarya says he used it to encourage foreign aid organizations to “walk the talk of responsible reconstruction.”

Kenichi Yokoyama, the Asian Development Bank’s country director for Nepal, says the message has been well received. “Brickmaking is an area that we need to be cautious of,” he says, adding that the ADB plans to circulate Better Brick Nepal’s list of child labor-free kilns to its project agencies once it’s released. “The list will certainly help.”

For now the work is painstaking, often happening kiln by kiln – or even child by child.

On the morning of May 3, for example, two inspectors from GoodWeave climbed the steep hill to Rakta Kali in an urgent search for Dorje. A member of Acharya’s team had called the organization the day before to inform them about the young boy. He implored them to act fast and coordinate a rescue. The brickmaking season was coming to an end, at which time Dorje would likely return to India with the Hasans. There was no way of knowing what would happen to him next.

Dorje was guiding mules saddled with bricks when the inspectors found him. The inspectors, along with two other children’s rights advocates who arrived soon after, told him they had come to take him to a shelter near Kathmandu. Neither the Hasans nor the kiln owner on site objected; they told the inspectors they wanted Dorje to have a chance at a better life. Dorje left the kiln with only the clothes he was wearing and 300 rupees (about $3) in his pocket. It was all he had.

Two weeks later, Dorje was in a classroom at the GoodWeave shelter practicing the English alphabet in a workbook. He had changed out of his dust-coated green T-shirt and black track pants and into a white button-down shirt and white pants. His teacher says he’s a slow student but that he seems eager to learn – matching a description by kiln workers who know him as a “clever boy,” street smart and resourceful.

Dorje says he’s happy at the shelter. He’s already made friends, most of whom are children rescued from carpet factories. Together they play soccer and watch cartoons. Soon after he arrived, he received treatment for a fracture in his left forearm that he had suffered years ago but that had failed to mend properly.

While Dorje sometimes misses the sense of family provided by the Hasans and remains uncertain about his future, he’s grateful to be out of the kiln. “It is better here,” he says with a smile.

Perhaps what most drives Acharya in his campaign to end child labor is his ability to see himself in boys like Dorje. Acharya has worked hard to get to where he is today, but he also acknowledges how fortunate he’s been. His hope is to provide children with the same opportunities he was given.

“That could have been me,” he says about Dorje. “That could have been anyone.”

This story was funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and done in collaboration with the PBS NewsHour. Prem Dhakal contributed reporting.

The incidence of child labour in Nepal is relatively high compared with other countries in South Asia.[1] According to the Nepal Labour Force Survey (NLFS) in 2008[2], 86.2% of children who were working were also studying and 13.8% of the children were working only. A comparison over the years of child labour force participation rate across gender and residence is shown in Table 1 below:

YearTotalArea of ResidenceArea of Residence
TotalMaleFemaleUrbanRural
1996[3]41.736.147.623.043.4
2004[4]32.030.232.512.433.9
2008[5]33.930.237.814.436.7
2010[6]44.041.048.031.046.0

Most children (60.5%) worked up to 19 hours in 2008, while 32.2% worked 20 to 40 hours a week and 7.3% worked for more than 40 hours in a week.[2] This trend is consistent in both rural and urban areas.[2] In the 2003/2004 Nepal Living Standards Survey Statistical Report Volume II[7], it was found that the poorest consumption quintile has the highest percentage (18.7%) of child laborers who for more than 40 hours a week as compared with the rest of the consumption quintile. Also, according to Edmonds(2006)[8] female children work more hours than their male siblings. In the same study Edmonds states that the majority of child labourers work in the agricultural sector and in domestic labour.[8]

According to Ray (2004),[9] child schooling and child labour force participation rates are negatively correlated as there is a trade-off between the two variables. Thus, an increase in labour hours would mean lesser time for schooling, and lesser work hours equals to an increase in time spent for schooling.

Definition[edit]

The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines child labour as "work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development". [10] This includes work that interferes with schooling, separates children from their families, or exposes children to serious hazards. [10] The ILO's definition of child labour does not include work done outside of school hours or assistance provided to family.[10] Their reasoning is that these activities are beneficial to a child's development. [10] While the age that someone is considered a child is different in different countries UNICEF defines child labour as someone who is between 5 and 14 years old involved in economic activity or domestic work.[11]

Industries using child labour[edit]

The NLFS also found that 88.7% of the working children are being employed in the agricultural sector.[2] 1.4% of employed children work in the manufacturing sector, 0.3% work in construction sector, 1.6% work in wholesale and retail trade, 1.0% work in hotels and restaurants, 0.1% work in private households with employed persons, and 6.9% work in other types of industries.[2] About 78.1% of children working in the agricultural sector are engaged in subsistence farming.[2]

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that children in Nepal are engaged "in agriculture and the worst forms of child labor in commercial sexual exploitation".[12] The report indicated other industrial activities like mining and stone breaking, weaving, and domestic service. In 2014, the Department's List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor reported bricks, carpets, embellished textiles and stones as goods produced in such labor conditions by both child laborers and forced workers.

Agriculture[edit]

According to Edmonds (2006)[8] the majority of children in the labour force work in the agricultural field. They also report that children aged 6-15 years old spend 9.2 hours a week working in the agriculture industry, with many more hours spent in other types of work.[8] The agricultural sector is very dangerous for children, due to their exposure to harmful chemicals and dangerous weather conditions. [13] Fafchamps (2006)[13] also reports that a child in Nepal is likely to be working in the agricultural sector if their parents are agricultural laborers and if they are located 3-7 hours away from an urban center. Even though these children spend a significant amount of time working in the fields they are often not counted in national statistics as being economically active. [14] With all of this said, Abdulai (1999)[15] reports that children working in the agricultural field do not significantly impact the agricultural output of Nepal.

Military[edit]

The Communist Party of Nepal [CPN(M)] was composed of the People's Liberation Army and the Royal Nepal Army.[16] They instigated the Nepalese Civil War in 1996 because the Nepali government refused to address social and economic injustices.[16] During the Nepalese Civil War the People's Liberation Army and the Royal Nepal Army conscripted child soldiers ranging from fourteen years old to eighteen years old.[16] Some children joined the army due to abduction and manipulation, others due to voluntary association. [17] During the Nepalese Civil War children worked as soldiers, sentries, spies, cooks, and porters.[16] Many Nepali child soldiers witnessed traumatic events such as bombings and violent deaths.[16] The war happened in 1996 and in a study by Kohrt et al. in 2010, 15.5% of the surveyed children were still part of an army at the time of the study.[16]

Carpet Industry[edit]

The carpet industry is one of the major sources of income in Nepal and children are seen as the inexpensive labour force behind it. [18] In Nepal, about 1,800 children under fourteen years old are employed by the carpet industry.[19] In a study by Baker(2001)[18] all of the 162 Nepali children in the study spent more than six hours a day working in the carpet industry. "Social Labelling" is the work of non-governmental organizations to inform consumers about the conditions that the rug was made in.[19] "Social Labeling" has been effective in reducing child labour in the carpet industry by informing consumers about the working conditions of the factory where the rug was produced, and whether they utilize child labour. [19]

Domestic Labour[edit]

Domestic labour for children in Nepal includes childcare, cooking, shopping, fetching water, and cleaning.[8] Some children, usually young girls, are forced into domestic labour due to human trafficking. [20] According to Edmonds(2006) in one week children ages 6-15 spend 4.3 hours doing domestic work.[8] Girls typically have to do significantly more domestic work than their male siblings, and the hours girls spend on domestic work increases when there are siblings added to the household while the hours boys spend on domestic work generally stays the same. [8]

Causes of child labour[edit]

Poverty[edit]

Poverty is a major cause of child labour in Nepal and is often coupled with lack of education according to a study by Ersado(2005).[21] Poverty is a driver of child labour because the costs of schooling is very high and the immediate economic benefit of child labour is enticing according to Stash(2001). [22] Not having access to schooling often leads parents to find employment for their children.[21] Children who are enrolled in school often have to work in order to afford the costs of schooling.[21] Many parents do not want their children to be idle during the day but cannot enroll them in school due to the high cost.[23] According to Ranjan (2002) this leads many parents to involve their children in the labour force.[23] Entering the labour force has immediate economic benefits for the parents, while the economic benefits from educating their children would be long term.[24]

Gender Inequality[edit]

Many parents in Nepal believe that female children should be at home doing domestic work instead of going to school according to Jamison (1987). [25] Their reasoning is that there would not be enough people supporting the household and that girls will be given away in marriage anyway.[25] Girls who do go to school are still expected to do the same amount of labour because they typically do domestic work, while boys do less labour when they are enrolled in school because they typically do market work.[23] According to Edmonds (2003)[8], female children are more likely to be involved with child labour than male children. Girls also tend to work more hours than boys, especially the oldest girl. The more children a family has, the more hours the oldest female child works. When a male child is added to the family both the oldest female and male siblings have to work an extra 1.5 hours a week, and when a female child is added to the family only the oldest female child has to work extra hours. [8] This inequality persists to adulthood, as seen by Nepal's low score on the Gender-related Development Index (GDI)[16]. Nepal has a score of 0.545, as compared to Canada's score of 0.959.[16]

Impact[edit]

Education[edit]

Even though schooling increases a child's future income, there is a low enrollment rate by poor families.[26] Parents may feel that by enrolling their children in school they are missing out on the income that they could bring in immediately.[26] This effect is seen in a study by Ray(2002)[23] found that increasing the labour market activity of a child negatively affects their schooling experience. When a child is involved with the labour force they are less likely to be enrolled in school. [23] This effect is seen much more strongly in girls than in boys. [23]

Mental Health[edit]

There is a higher proportion of mental illnessnes such as anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for Nepali child soldiers than for Nepali children who were never conscripted.[17] This is especially true for female child soldiers as found in a study about the mental health of conscripted child soldiers by Kohrt (2008). [17] Female child soldiers also experienced gender-based stigma from their community after their work in the military.[16] One year after the war 55% of the child soldiers participating in the study were found to have PTSD. [17]

Economic Development[edit]

According to Galli (2001),[27] in the long run, child labour impedes long run economic growth through slower rate of human capital accumulation. One way in which human capital is accumulated is through education. As working takes up time for children to go to school, rate of human capital accumulation is negatively affected. Also, child labour is expanding as the economy is growing, which some see as an indication of a flawed economy. [26] Nonetheless, a study by Ersado(2005) found that children in Nepal contribute about 7% of the household income, which is quite high compared to other developing countries.[21]

Responses[edit]

Organizations[edit]

Given the seriousness of the issue of child labour in Nepal, there are thousands of Governmental Organizations and numerous international non-governmental organizations that work in Nepal to tackle the problem of child labour through improving educational standards.

International Labour Organization[edit]

One of the goals of this organization is to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in Nepal.[28] They would like to strengthen the monitoring systems for child labour in order to prevent and identify the emerging sectors of child labour.[28] They also plan to assist the Government of Nepal to endorse a hazardous child labour list. [28]

Children and Women in Social Service and Human Rights (CWISH)[edit]

The goal of CWISH is to create a respectful environment towards human rights, with a focus on child rights.[29] They work to protect children from violence, sexual abuse, harassment, physical and humiliating punishment, bullying, neglect, trafficking, child labour and child marriage.[29] They advocate for better policies, better implementation, and child education along with assisting vulnerable children and their families.[29] Some of their accomplishments include helping 157495 Nepali children and has completed 83 projects.[29] One of these projects included establishing 11 municipalities that monitor child labour.[29]

Educate the Children[edit]

Educate the Children began by matching sponsors with disadvantaged children in Nepal in order to provide education.[30] They have since expanded their program to improving women's literacy and community development.[30] The three programs they currently run involve children’s education, women’s empowerment, and sustainable agricultural development.[30] Regarding children's education ETC has started an early education program that was lacking in Nepal.[30] They have also provided scholarships to help keep children in schools, and have focused their efforts on girls.[30] In addition to this ETC has improved the quality of education and schooling conditions.[30]

Proposed Solutions[edit]

Increasing access to banks could decrease the amount of child labour in Nepal.[21] Ersado (2005) found that in rural Nepal, access to a commercial bank positively affects child schooling and negatively affects child labor because access to credit allows a family to have a more stable income and have enough money to send their child to school.[21]

Another proposed solution is to provide incentives for parents to send their kids to school.[26] This could include providing enrollment subsidies and cash transfers with the condition that they enroll their children in school. [26]

Banning child labour may seem like a simple solution but its implications are that it would be very difficult to enforce the ban and it would come at a huge, immediate cost to the poor. [26] Also, banning child labour in one sector could lead children to enter other, more dangerous sectors such as prostitution.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Young Nepali girl working in the fields of Nepal
Young girl working in the fields of Tansen, Nepal
Young girls working in the brick kilns of Nepal
  1. ^United Nations Children's Fund, Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  2. ^ abcdefNEPAL LABOUR FORCE SURVEY 2008 STATISTICAL REPORT. Central Bureau of Statistics Thapathali, Kathmandu Nepal http://cbs.gov.np/image/data/Surveys/2015/NLFS-2008%20Report.pdf
  3. ^Central Department of Population Studies, Tribhuvan University. (1997). Child Labour Situation In Nepal p.34.Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  4. ^Government of Nepal, Central Bureau of Statistics, National Planning Commission Secretariat. (2004). Nepal Living Standard Survey 2003/04 Statistical Report Volume II p.53.Archived 2010-05-24 at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved 18 January 2012.
  5. ^"Government of Nepal, Central Bureau of Statistics, National Planning Commission Secretariat. (2009). Nepal Labour Force Survey 2008 Statistical Report p. 135.Archived February 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  6. ^Government of Nepal, Central Bureau of Statistics/The United Nations Children's Fund. (2011). Findings from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010 in the Mid-and Far-Western Regions, Nepal p.14., Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  7. ^NEPAL LIVING STANDARDS SURVEY 2003/04 STATISTICAL REPORT VOLUME TWO. CENTRAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS National Planning Commission Secretariat His Majesty’s Government of Nepal December 2004.
  8. ^ abcdefghiEdmonds, Eric V. (2006). "Understanding sibling differences in child labor"(PDF). Journal of Population Economics. 19: 795–821. doi:10.1007/s00148-005-0013-3 – via JSTOR. 
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