Published in The Himalayan Times on Sep. 09 ::
Rights activists have called on the government to make and implement proper mechanism to end child labour in the country.
Addressing a workshop on ‘Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour: Challenges and Future Directions’ organised by the United Nations Association of Nepal, in association with the World Federation of United Nations Association, in the capital today, Bishnu Hari Nepal, former diplomat, said that existing shelter homes had not been effective in properly counselling and rehabilitating rescued child labourers.
“The government has not paid attention to demands of the United Nations for effective monitoring of problems of child labour prevalent in Nepal,” he said. Ratna Laxmi Shrestha, a human rights activist, highlighted that poverty, disasters, conflict, unemployment, illiteracy, gender inequalities and other socio-cultural factors were the main reasons behind child labour. “If the government does not pay heed towards ending child labour through proper mechanism and monitoring, and simultaneously punishing the perpetrators, civil society will stand united to press the authorities for carrying out such work more effectively,” she warned.
Manju Khatiwada, a human rights officer at the National Human Rights Commission, informed that two-thirds of the population below the age of 14 are working as child labourers in Nepal. Of them, 48 percent are girls.