Abuse of child workers on rise

Kathmandu, August 1:

Compared to last year, the exploitation of child workers rose alarmingly this year, the Child Workers’ in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN) said today. Altogether 203 child workers were exploited in the past six months, the CWIN said, adding that 11 child workers were exploited in 2004. While one child, working in a restaurant, was tortured during the past six months, three and 12 child workers were tortured in 2004 and 2003. In the latest case, a 14-year old boy from Sarlahi, who was working in a sweet shop in Bagbazaar, was beaten up and denied pay. “We are trying to help him get money from the sweet shop manager,” Bharat Adhikari, programme coordinator, CWIN-Helpline, said.

“A 15-year-old-boy, who had worked at the Diyo Restaurant in Putalisadak for over a year, came up with a complaint, saying he was expelled when he demanded pay,” he said. Brandishing a knife, the restaurant manager threatened him and ordered him not to enter the restaurant again. “I was not given a penny for over a year’s work,” the boy told this daily. “Instead, I was beaten up and threatened.” In another case, a 16-year-old boy was expelled from the Banjara Fast Food, Bhatbhateni, when he asked for pay. The CWIN is trying to rehabilitate him. Even as NGOs working for children are worried over increase in exploitation of child workers, Hari Bahadur Pal, DSP, Kathmandu District Police Office said the exploited children rarely come to the police’s station to lodge complaints against the restaurateurs. “We don’t have any records of complaints.” “To abolish exploitation of child workers, the society should boycott the restaurants that employ children,” Adhikari said.