Minor girls employed in entertainment industry

Kathmandu, January 24

Child labour is banned in the country, but minor girls continue to be employed in the entertainment industry, mostly in Kathmandu Valley.

In most of the massage parlours, dance bars, dohori sanjh restaurants and spa centres, among others, girls below the age of 16 are employed as waiters, dancers and singers.

According to a staffer at Women and Children Office Anita Adhikari, there are more than 25,000 entertainment centres in Nepal and 12,000 such centres are in Kathmandu Valley alone.

“After a recent inspection conducted by Women Development Offices in 50 such entertainment centres in Kathmandu, we found that many girls below the age of 16 were working as waiters, singers and dancers there,” said Adhikari.

Adhikari said most of the girls working in the entertainment industry were not even given appointment letters by their employers.  “Though the entertainment industry has provided jobs to a number of girls and women over the years, these entertainment centres have become transit points for human trafficking and other illegal activities,” she informed, adding that women working at these centres were poorly paid and physically abused by customers.

Similarly, Director at Maiti Nepal Bishworama Khadka said Maiti Nepal alone could not fight against human trafficking and women violence and urged the government and the media to help them control human trafficking and violence against women.