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Child Workers in the Brick Kiln Sector
Micro Proposal, Lalitpur

Working Title: Education Programme for Working Children.

Country: Nepal

Location: Harishiddhi Lalitpur District

Responsible Organisation: Care Kopila Nepal

Duration: 6 Months

Starting Date: October 2008

Completion Date: March 2009

Target Group: 150 working children in the brick kiln sector

Major Characteristics of working children

Objectives:

Main Activities:

Introduction:

In Kathmandu valley there are more than 500 brick factories. Of these, more than 180 are traditional brick kilns. The traditional kiln is of an open brick firing structure, which consists of a temporary elliptical trench-shaped kiln and a pair of movable sheet metal chimneys.

There are two types of fired clay bricks are made in Nepal. These are: 

(a)  Hand Made Bricks: These bricks are of low quality without clean surfaces fired in local chimnies and most commonly used in construction. 

(b) Machine Made Bricks: These bricks are of a high quality, clean surfaces and suitable for domestic and commercial brick construction. They are also stronger and in higher demand.

Most of the brick factories are not registered with local authorities. The number of factories has increased by 200 per cent since 2000. This has caused a strain on the local environment, including pollution of local farm land and rivers. Complaints about this pollution continue to be raised with employers and local authorities but without any monitoring mechanism this continues to be ineffective.


Nature and scale of child labour

Child labour in Nepal is common. However, a major part is in the form of unpaid family work with wage based child labour small in comparison. It is estimated that nearly 80% of Nepali population works in agriculture, of which an overwhelming majority is engaged in subsistence farming. These family child workers are vulnerable as they are deprived of the opportunity of education and health care and their childhood. The statistical aspect of child labour in Nepal is as follows:

Total Working Children: 2.6 Million
Unpaid family child workers: 0.9 Million
Wage - based child workers: 1.7 Million
Percentage across sectors:

Causes of child labour in Nepal:

 Nepal's priorities for remedial activity have been in the following sectors:

Working children in Brick Kiln sector:

The condition of working children in brick kiln sector is severe. Most are migrants from rural areas who, with their families have moved to urban areas to find work. Often they work as seasonal workers which dramatically interrupt their education, often damaging it permanently.

Education Provision:

This project does not and cannot attempt to take these children out of work. Previous programmes have failed because they have been unable to persuade both employers and parents to lose part of the family income by placing children in schools. The fact that these are migrants, and not permanently based in the brick kiln areas also conflates the problem of continued primary education. As a result, this pilot project attempts to minimise the impact of these breaks from study by providing short classes every day at the workplace. By bringing the teachers to the working area, children are at least given the chance not to lose the basic education they may have already received in their home towns or the chance to start their education for the very first time.

The project does not in any way condone the use child workers. However, with an understanding of the realities of these children’s lives and also the failure so far to provide any real alternative, this programme attempts to provide a minimum but sustainable level of education.

 

Care Kopila working with Tharu Community

Care Kopila has been working on various area supporting the education of the labour child and child from the minority group. This year (2008), Care Kopila has taken an initiative to work with the tharu community from in Nawalparasi District, providing support for education of the Tharu minority. To read more about Tharu community and child labour condition click here .

Contirbute For This Noble Cause!
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Worst Form of Child Labour