Without a paddle

Irrespective of the umpteen conventions inked by different governments and NGOs and INGOs working for children’s ‘welfare’, the impoverished kids continue to be abused and exploited in hazardous working sites as a source of cheap labour. The incorporation of child rights related documents and awareness are believed to be some effective ways of putting in practice the child rights. The Supreme Court has directed the government agencies to include child rights laws, international conventions along with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on the Rights of Child and other child rights conventions in the school curriculum to create and sustain awareness.

The international child rights instruments should be adopted to secure child rights according to Article 126 of the 1990 constitution and the Treaty Act 1990. But it is highly regrettable that the government is not strictly implementing the Articles that secure child rights. This is precisely why the age-old system of Kamalari — Tharu girls being sold to rich households — in the western region continues to flourish. Such gross violations need to be halted immediately. The government must give a serious thought to the idea of setting up a national fund to rehabilitate children working as Kamalaries and alternate arrangements for child labourers who are forced to work under hazardous conditions to eke out a living for themselves and their families. The government should act fast to achieve the goal of eliminating worst forms of child labour by 2009.