CHILD WORKERS SUFFER IN TRANSPORT SECTOR
A recently conducted survey has revealed that around 23 percent of the total
laborers working in transport sector of the region are child workers.
According to a report prepared by Central Committee of Nepal Transport Workers
Association (NTWA), of the total 155,000 laborers working in transport sector in
the region, more than 35,000 are children between nine to fifteen years of age.
The report also states that despite working for more than 12 hours a day, these
children do not even earn an average daily wage of Rs. 50. The report further
discloses that more than 25,000 of these child workers are facing accommodation
and fooding problems.
“Most of these children spend their night in the vehicles and more than 80
percent of them do not have access to basic health services,” the report states.
The report states that all of the children working in the sector are unskilled
and are not compensated if they fall into accidents. “More than 200 child
workers who had met with accidents last year were not provided treatment
facilities,” the report says.
The report also states that the number of child worker in the past five years
had increased by 60 percent and the number is on the rise. And following the
increment in number of light vehicles such as microbuses, the number of child
workers is also increasing. And the only reason in the surge, as stated in the
report is insurgency.
According to President of NTWA, Ajay Kumar Rai, the state of children working in
transport sector is worst than those children who have accepted employment in
Rai also informed that most of the employers preferred child workers as they are
inexpensive and are not aware of their rights. Moreover, the report also states
that Article 93 of Vehicles and Transport Management Act does not speak of
anything against such recruiting.
“However, we have been creating pressure on the government and other
non-government organizations to address the woes of the children,” Rai said.
“Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) has started providing informal education to
child workers and will work towards restoring their basic rights and their
rights to equal pay and benefits,” he added.
He also said that NTUC has been providing informal education to more than 1,000
child workers throughout the country and has coordinated with Ministry of
Education to provide formal education to child workers.
Source: Kathmandu Post - 21-1-2005
keyterms: child workers, transport sector,
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