60 thousand Nepali children work in brick kilns
A nationwide survey on children working in brick kilns has shown that 60 thousand child workers are working in brick kilns in Nepal.
The survey, covering 22 of 75 districts of the country, was conducted recently by CONCERN with Plan support. The research team consulted more than eleven hundred people. Interviews were carried out with 1,074 children working in the kilns. The research unearths some hard facts and makes valuable recommendations for all stakeholders, particularly those working in the field of children.
According to the report, 24 percent of these child laborers are between 6 and 12 years old and 76 percent are between 12 and 16. One third of the total child workers in brick kilns have completed class 2 only. Fifty-seven percent are school dropouts and among them 34 percent are girls. The research shows that 37 percent children join their parents to work in the kilns and 19 percent enter the job with the help of contractors. Forty-four percent spend nearly six months in the kiln every year. Health check-ups are rare and children were frequently found suffering from fever, cough, backaches and dysentery. Only nine percent of the children received medical check-ups.
There are 700 brick kilns in Nepal and the number is highest in Kathmandu valley. Out of 176, 250 kiln workers, 59,925 are estimated to be children. Among these children, 21 percent belong to the socially marginalized castes and 74 percent are economic migrants from different districts.
The research provides some explicit and broad-spectrum recommendations to reduce child laborers in brick kilns. It strongly recommends that the prevailing practice of employing children in such hazardous work places should be prohibited.
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