Nepal | April 10, 2020

Govt takes big stride to abolish child labour in local levels

Himalayan News Service

Each local level shall conduct programmes to eliminate child labour

Kathmandu, November 26

The government has issued procedure for ‘Declaration of Local Levels as Child Labour Free  Zone’ in a bid to make municipalities and rural municipalities free of child labour.

The procedure aims to free local levels from the worst form of child labour, in a sustainable manner and make Nepal a child labour free country. It focuses on child labourers being employed at private homes, motels, hotels, casinos, restaurants, bars, pubs, resorts, cable cars, automobile workshops, laboratories, slaughterhouses, public vehicles, brick kilns and for mountaineering, hot air ballooning, horse riding, construction and manufacture of various products.

According to the procedure, a local level may be declared as child labour free zone by establishing identity of all children born within the concerned municipality or rural municipality and by assessing socio-economic condition of their families.

“Each local level shall conduct programmes to eliminate child labour. They include raising public awareness, psycho-social counselling, arrangement of alternative income source for families of child workers, skill-based training for dropouts of age group between 15 to 18 and signing of an agreement with informal sectors of economy for their commitment not to employ any child labours,” reads the procedure.

The procedure also requires the government to appropriate budget and hire dedicated employees for elimination of child labour. The government will also form a child labour monitoring and evaluation mechanism in each local level and rescue child workers for their rehabilitation. If all requirements prescribed by the procedures are met, the concerned local level may declare itself as child labour free zone, with the approval of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security.

The government has recently drafted a bill for amendment to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act-2000, with stringent measures against worst forms of child labour in the country. In the proposed bill, punitive measure for one employing a person below 18 years of age,  included fine up to Rs 50,000 or imprisonment up to three months, or both. Anyone who employed a child in hazardous business or work would be liable to punishment of imprisonment for maximum of one year or a fine up to Rs 200,000, or both. “If a person employs two or more children, he/she shall be liable to additional punishment of up to two years in jail or a fine up to Rs 200,000 or both,” read the bill.

A version of this article appears in print on November 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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