Ex-child labourers call for society fit for all childrenUntil three years ago, Geeta Shrestha used to work in a brick kiln at Jagati, Bhaktapur with her parents and miss school for half the year the brick kiln was in operation.
Until three years ago, Geeta Shrestha used to work in a brick kiln at Jagati, Bhaktapur with her parents and miss school for half the year the brick kiln was in operation.
The 15-year-old full time student wants children like her get a change to acquire education. “There is no future for children working there. They need help to get away from that environment and enrol into schools,” said the grade eight student of Ganesh Higher Secondary School at Sipadol said at a programme jointly organised by Department of Labour and Child Development Society in Kathmandu on Monday.
Students like Shrestha also urged stakeholders to help child labours from brick kiln break the vicious circle of poverty ridden labours life.
Regular monitoring and encouraging consumers avoid bricks made by children will help combat child labour, they pointed out to various agencies involved in preventing children from working in brick kilns.
“The manufactures will be compelled to put children at bay from their kilns if the consumers refused to purchase products made by children,” said Asmita Bhujel, a former brick kiln worker who is now a student.
Stakeholders, however, state that making consumers aware alone will not help curb the problem, as unlike the global market the local market is supply based. They also expressed fear that children from brick kilns will get into other forms of hazardous child labour
“Social and economic factors are the reasons that propel children to work at early age we must ensure real free education and other beneficiary package to these
children in order to provide proper rehabilitation, otherwise those who are rescued from brick kilns will get into carpet industry and vice versa,” said Barun Kumar Jha, director at Department of Labour.
Stakeholders comprising of local government institutions, department of education, engineers association, non governmental organizations working to fight child labour penned down their commitment to do their best to prevent children from working in places which jeopardise their health and future.