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16 Mar 2011
200,000 child workers in Kathmandu Valley

200,000 child workers in Kathmandu Valley
The fragile economic condition and the failure to enforce legal provisions have put a large number of children on the brink of risk. The report of the International Labour Organization (ILO) released on Thursday paints a gloomy picture of child labour in Nepal.

The country report reveals that of total 7.77 million children in the age group 5 to 7 years, 40.4 percent (3.14 million) are in some sort of child labour. The situation is more serious in the rural areas where 2.94 million children are involved in labour while it is 1.93 million in urban areas and 0.20 million in Kathmandu valley.

“About 19.7 percent of the working children are engaged in hazardous condition which is likely to harm their health, safety and morals,” said Shengjie Li, ILO Country Director. “Of them, majority are girls, which is a serious problem.” The report shows that a majority of children work in agriculture, followed by domestic, services and manufacturing sectors. The children working as porters, rag pickers, working in carpet and other factories, restaurants and in the transport sector are living a pathetic life. “Such labour force even suffers from mental and physical tortures and sexual abuse,” Bishnu Dev Pant, ILO-International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) consultant, said.