33 pc restaurant workers below 18, says report

Kathmandu, March 19:

At least 33 per cent workers in restaurants are below 18, according to a survey conducted by a women’s group. The survey was conducted among 300 women working in dance bars, cabin restaurants and massage parlours in 2007 and the report was published recently.

According to the survey report of Shakti Samuha (SS), an organisation of women victimised in dance bars, cabin restaurants and massage centres, 33 per cent of total respondents were in between 11 and 18 years of age. “They are at risk of sexual exploitation,” said Januka Bhattarai, president of the group. She was speaking at an interaction on ‘role of media in reducing internal trafficking’ here today.

Among 300 women surveyed, more than 70 per cent of them said that they were not at all informed about the nature of the job before they took up the jobs. Most of them said they were forced to involve in indecent activities and faced sexual abuse and mistreatment. “Sixty per cent of them said they were paid only Rs 1,500 to 2,500 a month,” the report says.

The women are being internally trafficked to dance bars and massage parlours, said Ram Maya Lamichhane, legal officer of the group.

“They are exploited by the traffickers and business owners under political protection,” she said. “The ministers and CA members go to these places for entertainment but they do not dare to legalise the sector.”