Human Rights Council—Nepal—Child Labor, Education and Trafficking—July 2020

On 9 July 2020, The Advocates for Human Rights submitted a stakeholder report for the 37th Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review on Nepal. This report focuses on Education, Child Labor, and Trafficking.

According to the 2015 Constitution of Nepal and the Education Act Eight Amendment Bill,  basic education through grade 8 is mandatory. However, approximately 770,000 children between the ages of 5 and12 are not enrolled in school.  The high cost of school materials, the prevalence of child labor, and gender barriers limit access to school for many children in Nepal.

Trafficking remains a serious problem in Nepal. There are an estimated 1.6 million children working as child laborers, and thousands of children are victims of the sex trade. Each year, an estimated 12,000 children are trafficked to India for these purposes. The government has not criminalized all forms of labor trafficking and sex trafficking, pornography and internal trafficking is not explicitly addressed in the Human Trafficking Control Act (HTTC), and trafficking victims do not receive adequate remedies or support from the government. 

The report concludes with a list of recommendations. Some recommendations include:

  • Specifically address pornography and internal trafficking of all kinds in the HTTCA rather than the Foreign Employment Act.
  • Take steps to address barriers to education caused by hidden costs through scholarship or other programs.
  • Continue success in increasing enrollment of girls by prioritizing the gender gap in education for rural girls.
  • Strengthen the implementation and enforcement of existing legislation and regulations on child labor, including expanding the number of labor-inspector positions and filling all vacant positions with persons with strong qualifications in the area of child labor.