Over 30,000 Nepalis still in forced labour, statistics bureau report saysA total of 31,338 individuals are in forced labour in Nepal, according to the Labour Force Survey 2017-18 unveiled by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
A total of 31,338 individuals are in forced labour in Nepal, according to the Labour Force Survey 2017-18 unveiled by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The assessment of forced labour in the country was done in line with the Convention 29 of the International Labour Organisation, a United Nations body, which has suggested the guidelines regarding the measurement of the forced labour.
According to the International Labour Organization, forced labour refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities.
People are in forced labour, according to the survey, for—on an average—2.6 years out of the five years. Of the total people in forced labour, 56 percent are male and 17 percent are children.
As per the labour organisation guideline, a person is classified as being in forced labour if engaged during a specified reference period in any work that is both under the threat of menace of penalty and involuntary. Both conditions must exist for this to be satisfactorily regarded as forced labour.
The statistics bureau said it is the first time that it has conducted the survey on forced labour and Nepal is one of the first countries in the world to do so in the national survey.
In the last five years, 61,252 individuals were found to be in forced labour in different times, according to the survey.
Of the total prevalence of forced labour in the country, largest portion (44 percent) was seen in the agriculture and forestry sector followed by the construction sector (16 percent).
“Forced labour was exercised in these two sectors basically by withholding the wages the workers were entitled to,” according to Suman Raj Aryal, director general of the Central Bureau of Statistics. “The highest prevalence of forced labour is in agriculture as the largest number of workforce is engaged in this sector.”
According to the Labour Force Survey, the agriculture sector provides employment to 21.5 percent of the total labour force.
“As both agriculture and construction sectors are highly informal, chances of forced labour are high because there is no system to check such practices,” said Aryal.