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Development is a process of change or a better condition of the families living in a community which creates their happiness in their daily life. Mostly it depends on the behaviour and attitude of the families, but the development is different in families living in vulnerable communities, i.e. slums, squatter, and low rentals.
When parents can’t fulfil the children’s need, then the children separate from families and involve in hazardous works for earning. The children of Nepal are in vulnerable condition due to the poor socio-economic condition of the families. For this reason, families use to send their children for work via mediator as child labour to the city/town. On the other hand, children leave the family without their parents’ permission while they are not getting adequate food, education, and love in the family and community. The children get a job in domestic work, the Adult entertainment sector (dance bar, small restaurant, massage parlour), factories, rag picking, transportations, etc. They send their salary to the families or mediators give to the families. As a result, children faced physical & sexual violence, abused, and exploited in their workplace.
Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is mainly situated in the Himalayas. The population is about 29 million people (2021). Nepal contains some of the most rugged and difficult mountain terrains in the world. Mountains cover roughly 75 per cent of the country.
In Nepal, 1.1 million (15.3%) children age 5 to 17 are engaged in child labour, as per a joint report of the International Labour Organization and Nepal government published in 2021 . The report says 87% of children are engaged in the agriculture sector while 13% are in other sectors. UNICEF report describes , ‘children in Nepal faced serious obstacles in achieving their rights even though progress over the decades and more than 1 in 3 children are stunted. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics-Nepal, 1.1 million children are out from families for labour work. 13000 Children, Adolescent, and woman work in Adult Entertainment Sector, Dohori Sanjha (-a typical dance centre, Pub) in Nepal. Among them, 62% are under 18 years girls according to Nepal Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Report 2015/2016.
Weak Child Protection Structure in Nepal
Due to the poor implementation of existing policies, lack of resources, and weak child protection structure, the development of children is worsened in marginalized families under the poverty line where, according to the Nepal government, 18.7 per cent of people live in poverty. Still, a World Bank report says, ‘COVID-19 could push nearly one-third of Nepal’s population below the poverty line. The development of children has also been deprived due to COVID -19 pandemic, while all schools were closed almost time in 2020. The low-income families’ children were involved in the labour work and didn’t re-enrol at schools while the schools were open beginning 2021. Likewise, early marriage, adolescent pregnancy, limited health services, violence, lack of earning, etc., are barriers to the children’s development.
Make it Better for the Children
Nepal government and civil society organizations have to play a vital role in developing children in priority while making regular educational activities with the children by finding the alternative solution through online, television, radio, offline video, etc. Likewise, health facilities with vaccines, awareness activities against child abuse, exploitation & violence, livelihood activities of parents/guardians have to be restored for the effective development of children. All actors have to be serious about the development of marginalized children of the community.
Reference Nepal Child Labour Report 2021, ILO Consultant/Mr. Omar Havana 2015  COVID-19: Number of children living in household poverty to soar by up to 86 million by end of year, Press release UNICEF, June 2020  COVID-19 could push nearly one-third of Nepal’s population below poverty line: World Bank report, Monday, Xinhua, May 17, 2021  TRAFFICKING IN PERSON, NATIONAL REPORT, 2015/16, Office of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons (OSRT), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Nepal, June 2017
Lucubrate Magazine May 2021
Photo on the top of the article: Raju Ghimire