Transport crew comprises 43.69 pc children: Study

Kathmandu, January 31:

As much as 43.69 per cent of the total workforce of the transportation sector, one of the most hazardous sectors for children, consists of children below 14 years of age, according to a report on ‘Child Labour in Transportation Sector in Nepal’, which was prepared in 2005. The Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN) had prepared the report.

According to the CWIN report, children working in 5,019 public vehicles in the Kathmandu Valley work for 12 hours a day on an average.

Presenting the report today, research coordinator Govinda Subedi said, “Twenty-eight per cent of child labourers in the transportation sector are below 14 years of age. The sector falls under one of the worst forms of child labour because of poor working conditions, accidents, various forms of exploitation, long working hours and lack of bargaining power of child labourers.”

Twenty-seven per cent of these children are illiterate and 80 per cent of them are from outside the valley, according to the report. While child labourers working for daily wages earn Rs 98 per day on an average, those working on a monthly basis earn Rs 930 on an average.

Sixty-six per cent of them support their families with their limited income.

Gauri Pradhan, executive director of the CWIN, said, “Though plans and policies have been formulated and budget allocated for children, the results are far from satisfactory.”

Unless alternative employment opportunities for the children are created, the government’s

aim of eliminating the worst form of child labour by 2009 would be a far-fetched dream, Pradhan said.

The report also revealed that 74 per cent of the child labourers are subjected to various forms of misbehaviour by passengers, traffic police, owners and drivers.

While 53.3 per cent of them sleep in the vehicles, 22.8 per cent of them go home, 19.8 per cent have rented rooms, three per cent of them go to hotels, and 1.2 per cent live on streets. Forty-four per cent of them have been suffering from injuries sustained at work.