Japan provides US$266,429 to reduce child labor in Nepal

By Laxman Datt Pant

Japan provides US$266,429 to reduce child labor in Nepal

Aiming to reduce child labor by strengthening the child protection mechanism in the Makwanpur district of Nepal, on March 15 the Government of Japan contributed US$266,429 to Shapla Neer – the Citizens’ Committee in Japan for Overseas Support under its Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects Schemes.

The grant agreement for this project was signed between Yuzo Yoshioka, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of Japan, and Hiromi Katsui, Country Representative of Shapla Neer’s Nepal Office.

Previously, an Employment Relationship Survey released on January 29 had revealed vital information about child labor in Nepal’s brick production industry calling for an intensive effort to bring this to an end.

See also: Report calls for concerted effort to end forced child labor in Nepal’s brick industry

Nepal has ratified key international conventions concerning child labor that include ILO conventions on minimum age and the worst forms of child labor, the United Nations Child Rights Convention and its optional protocols on armed conflict, the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and the Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons. Unfortunately, however, exploitation of children and their rights continues in various forms across the country.

  • According to the Nepal Labour Force Survey (2019) conducted by the Government of Nepal (GoN), there were an estimated 31,338 victims of forced labor in Nepal of whom 17% were under the age of 15
  • Nearly 286,000 children were involved in working for pay
  • Approximately 945,000 children aged between 5 and 17 were involved in child labor
  • A report titled 2019 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor states that 32.4% of schools in Nepal lack separate toilet facilities for girls thereby preventing them from attending school, especially when they are menstruating
  • Obstacles to school attendance by school-age boys include pressure to find employment while children with disabilities face additional barriers to accessing education
  • Although the GoN has introduced laws relating to child labor, gaps still exist in the country’s legal framework to adequately protect children from the worst forms of child labor

Although GoN introduced a new education policy in December 2019 to provide free and compulsory education to all children in an effort to reduce child labor across the country, girls in Nepal face multiple obstacles to attending school. These obstacles include but are not limited to a lack of sanitation facilities, geographic distance, the costs associated with schooling, household chores, and lack of parental support.

In addition to promoting child protection in the Makwanpur district of Bagmati province in Nepal, this initiative is anticipated to contribute towards the elimination of child labor and child trafficking.