July 6, 2017
Of the total 20,000 direct seasonal laborers working in 750 brick kilns of Kathmandu Valley, around 16 percent are children subjected to forced labor, reported a study.
The report titled, Child Development Society 2017 – ‘A Rapid Assessment of Children in Brick Kilns of Kathmandu Valley’, noted that 22 percent of the children living with their parents in brick kilns are out of schooling. This is seen despite the law that mandates the establishment of schools/learning centers by brick kilns, exclusively for workers’ children.
While a total of 49 areas have been identified as worker-supplying regions, most of the seasonal migrating workers seen are notably from Rolpa, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, and Dang.
Noting that the children are missing out the Department of Education’s annual special student enrollment program, the report said poverty is not always the reason for high school drop-outs.
Lack of study environment is the basic factor that is cited as the major cause of this drop-out situation, as the children are engaged in brick making, carrying water, and supporting their parents, among other tasks.
53 per cent boys and 47 per cent girls in the age of 5-18 years are engaged in brick kilns as laborers. While the children above 16 years work more than 12 hours, 11 percent children in the age group of 5-14 years work three hours a day, and two percent children work more than 12 hours a day.