The Grim Reality of Nepal’s Child Laborers [Photo]
According to the National Child Report, an estimated 1.6 million children between the ages of five and 17 years are employed in the Nepal work force despite child labor being illegal. About three quarters of the children are younger than 14 years old, and most of them are girls. The director general of Nepal’s Department of Labor Krishna Hari Pushkar explains that the arrangement coined as “social adoption” is viewed as a mutually beneficial arrangement between the employer, the child and their parents who sell the children for hire. In return, the children receive accommodation and education by their employers, while the parents of the children earn a salary. More recently, protests rocked Nepal’s capital following the death of a 12-year-old girl child laborer who committed suicide by setting herself on fire. With 44.2% of Nepal’s population living beneath the poverty line, child labor is oftentimes seen as a necessity.