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Forced Labour of Adults and Children in the Agriculture Sector of Nepal, ILO Country Office for Nepal- Series no. 11
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Forced labour, modern day slavery and human trafficking are subjects of widespread international concern and action. The International Labour Organization’s two Conventions on forced labour, the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) are among its most widely ratified instruments. Yet, these problems still persist on an alarming scale, affecting all regions of the world in different forms and to varying extents. The most recent ILO estimates for 2012 indicate that at least 20.9 million people worldwide are victims of forced labour, and the region most affected is Asia-Pacific, with some 11.7 million victims.Nepal has ratified both ILO forced labour Conventions, and has put in place national policies and programmes to deal with forced labour, particularly as it affects workers in the agricultural sector. The Bonded Labour (Prohibition) Act, 2058 (2002) represents a significant milestone in Nepal’s struggle to eliminate all forms of bonded labour, with a particular focus on the kamaiya system that was prevalent in the far west of the country. The 2008 government declaration on the liberation of haliya was another important step. However, it is widely acknowledged that significant gaps and challenges in implementation remain; action is still needed to ensure the complete and effective rehabilitation of these groups as well as others who may still be subjected to bonded labour and other forced labour practices in agriculture and other sectors of Nepal’s economy. Policies and programmes to combat forced labour need to be based upon solid data on the nature and extent of the problems to be addressed. Unfortunately, such data are lacking in virtually every country in the world. Given the often hidden nature of forced labour, that it may occur in remote regions or isolated locations, and that the victims may themselves be unaware of the fact that they are in forced labour, data collection through household surveys and other means is particularly challenging. The International Labour Office, through the Special Action Programme to combat Forced labour (SAP-FL) and the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), therefore embarked on a project between 2008 and 2010 to develop survey methodologies to estimate forced labour of adults and children at country level. The project involved close collaboration with national partners in ten countries: Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Georgia, Guatemala, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Republic of Moldova, Nepal and Niger. The overall results of this project have been reported in the publication “Hard to see, harder to count: Survey guidelines to estimate forced labour of adults and children” (ILO, 2012). This contains detailed methodological guidance on how to conduct such surveys, drawing on the experience gained through implementation in the ten participating countries. A particular focus is on the use of forced labour “indicators” in the design of the survey instrument and data analysis, to enable the detection of forced labour in practice. The results of the country-based surveys are presented in separate reports. This publication reports the results of the survey conducted in Nepal by the Central Department of Population Studies (CDPS) of Tribhuvan University in 2009, with the technical support of the ILO. As indicated in the title, the survey addresses forced labour of adults and children in agriculture, with a particular focus on the haruwa-charuwa in the eastern Tarai and the haliya in the Far-Western hills. This survey generated quantitative estimates of the number of people affected by forced labour, but also many important qualitative insights into the nature of the practices and the consequences for the adults and children affected. It also draws comparisons between the situation of the “target groups” (haruwa-charuwa and haliya) with other households living in the survey districts.
ILO ,   (2013 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 ILO : International Labor & Labor
14.02.02  -  Human Rights
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