More than half of the children aged 10-14 in Nepal are working; many employed in conditions classified as 'the worst forms of child labour'. This project provides vital support to child labourers in western Nepal and prevents other vulnerable children entering exploitative and hazardous employment, through education, training, family support and awareness raising.
Beni, the regional commercial centre of Myagdi District (western Nepal), is home to a large number of child labourers. Many of these children have migrated from neighbouring districts, forgoing their childhood to work as porters, daily labourers, rag pickers and even sex workers, subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse, with no access to education, healthcare and safe livelihood opportunities. The majority of these children are from lower castes and ethnic groups.
The project will: (1) increase access to essential services for working children, including education, healthcare, counselling, legal aid, and family reunification; (2) withdraw children from hazardous labour and provide them with safe livelihood options; (3) provide sustainable family-based interventions, preventing and reducing the risk of children from poor families entering potentially hazardous and exploitative labour; and (4) increase community awareness about child labour.
By providing education and livelihoods support, this project will not only empower working children and their families, but, through awareness raising initiatives, it will also change the attitudes of the community towards the very concept of child labour, therefore making a long term and sustainable impact. The project will ensure that every child labourer identified will have access to mainstream education, vocational training and livelihood opportunities, thus securing their future.