Kathmandu: Stakeholders from various sectors have called for actions from all sides to end the worst form of child labor, which is still prevalent in the country.
In the interaction program entitled ‘Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Child Labor in Informal Sector’ organized by Children and Women in Social Service and Human Rights (CWISH) with more than 50 stakeholders representing the government, business owners, child labor survivors, media, INGOs and CSOs working in the field of child protection, the participants identified the causes of child labor, challenges to address it and solutions to end it.
The consultation was organized to share the evidence that emerged from Child-Labour: Action Research Innovation in South and South-Eastern Asia (CLARISSA) along with discussing three agendas among the relevant stakeholders. CLARISSA is a consortium program funded by UK Aid that is led by IDS with TdH, ChildHope and Consortium of Street Children, and in-country partners in Nepal are Voice of Children, CWISH and TdH Nepal with a focus on the AES in Nepal.
Participants said that the major reason that children land in the Worst Form of Child Labour (WFCL) is dysfunctional family—disputes, divorce, drunkard parents etc. They said that the lack of resources and mechanisms in local government to address agendas of children and coordination between the organizations are some of the major challenges that exist in eliminating WFCL.
They also said that strengthening mechanisms and proper implementation of laws and policies can help address the challenges.
Many participants said that poor economic condition of family, domestic violence, push children to WFCL while at the same time, peer influence also works. They tend to choose Adult Entertainment Sector (AES) mainly because of its informal nature. Likewise, school drop-out children choose AES because they do not have better options due to their low qualifications.
The participants shared that strengthening the government mechanisms to form local level child protection committee and establishment of monitoring mechanism should be helpful to address the issues.
Bindu Pokhrel Gautam, Executive Advisor at CWISH, said that if we want to seriously tackle the WFCL, it is important that we change our perspective on gender roles. She said, “Most of the time we claim ‘mothers’ being responsible for the child’s situation but it is time to change the perception that fathers too are responsible for their children.”