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Nepal asserts to eliminate forced labor, human trafficking, and child labor

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Nepal vowed to reduce all forms of forced labor, human trafficking and child labor in line with the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A three-day ‘Asia Regional Conference’ of Alliance 8.7 on an opening day, a global partnership to eliminate all forms of forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labor in member countries. The Nepal government promise to destroy those social evils.

In the inaugural session of the conference, Former Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security, Mr. Gokarna Bista said-“The Nepal government is fully committed toward combating the complex issue of eliminating child labor, forced labor and human trafficking in all forms. Forced labor, human trafficking, and child labor are crimes against humanity and seriously violate human rights. In Nepal, we recognize these crimes as crimes against the state. Nepal government was committed to providing the best possible care and protection to innocent children who are the country’s future.”

The leading challenges assure human rights across the world. Forced labor, human trafficking, and child labor continue to be the leading challenges. In the Asia-Pacific region, including Nepal, it’s estimated that there may be 40 million people enmeshed in modern slavery, 152 million children in child labor and 24.8 million people in forced labor. The number of child laborers and forced laborers is an estimated 62.1 million and 16.5 million, respectively.

“This signifies the urgent and effective action on the part of all the actors and stakeholders in a more innovative and timely manner with visible and tangible outcomes“- said Bista.

A total of 31,338 individuals are in forced labor in Nepal. People are in forced labor, according to the survey, for 2.6 years on average. Of the total people in forced labor, 56 percent are male, and 17 percent are children, according to the National Labor Force Survey 2017-18. Likewise, Nepali girls, women and children are still vulnerable to various forms of human trafficking despite legal protections and law enforcing agencies in action to protect them.

The survey stated -“The approximately 7 million children aged between 5 and 17 years, nearly 286,000 were involved in work for pay.”

According to the alliance which aims to achieve the SDG target 8.7 by 2030 estimates child labor is declining at the rate of 100,000 per year, 1.6 million children aged 5 to 17 are in child labor in Nepal. The children involved in child labor and 621,000 children are estimated to be engaged in hazardous work.

Joint secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Mr. Ram Prasad Ghimire said-“Emergence of new forms of forced labor is one of the leading challenges.”All of the stakeholders need to focus on the root cause and promote decent work. Also, there is a need for harmonization of laws, forging of better coordination among various stakeholders to deal with the problems and coming up with alternate livelihoods and overcoming work deficits.

National Master Plan on the Elimination of Child Labour (2018-2028) to banish the ‘exploitative and worst form of child labor’ by 2022 and all types of child labor by 2025 introduced by the Nepal government.

The ongoing conference has brought together social partners, government officials, and members from workers’ and employers’ organizations from 15 countries. Participants from attending countries shared their country’s innovations toward achieving the SDG Target 8.7.

RPA Wimalweera, commissioner-general for labor with the Ministry of Labor and Trade Union Relations, Sri Lanka, a country which has witnessed a drastic decline in child labor, said his country’s policy on child labor was complemented by the national action plans.

Assistant Secretary-General of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Arvind Francis said government schemes like mid-day meal have encouraged participation in schools while measures like PENCIL has encouraged reporting of child labor and enforcement of no child labor in India.

A youth advocate and a human rights lawyer from India, Amar Lal said- “Promotion of education is crucial in promoting the rights of children and ensuring a better future for them.”

Source: The Kathmandu Post