Child Labour being used in govt transported food items

BAJURA: It has been revealed that child labour is being used in government supported transportation of salt and rice in Bajura district.

Children are found loading, unloading sacks of salt and rice while transporting them to Kolti and Kawadi depots of Salt Trading Corporation and Nepal Food Corporation, it has been learnt.

According to a local journalist, Laxmi Raj Padhyaya, child labour is found to have been used while transporting the food items via tractors and mules.

Legal provision regarding child labour states that children under the age of 14 years cannot be engaged for their labour. However, children are working in transporting the food items under government transportation scheme.

One of the tractor drivers said he had no idea that children must not be working such jobs, adding that these kids have been carrying out the loading and unloading tasks for long.

It is ironic to see that children are labouring hard for government related work when government should have taken initiatives to end child labour in all sectors.

Chief District Officer Chetraj Baral responded to the situation saying that responsibility of transporting the goods has been given to contractors and they might have used children for such work. He said that if children were found working such tasks, it would be stopped and those who are using children would be brought to book.

It has been found that child labour takes place not just in Bajura but in various parts of Sudurpaschim Province.

The Child Labour Act, 2056 BS has provisioned that child labour is a legal offence, and monetary compensation along with imprisonment sentence would be handed over to those who use children in laborious work.