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Child slavery nowA contemporary reader$
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Gary Craig

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847426109

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847426109.001.0001

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Haliya and kamaiya bonded child labourers in Nepal

Haliya and kamaiya bonded child labourers in Nepal

(p.227) fourteen Haliya and kamaiya bonded child labourers in Nepal
Child slavery now

Birendra Raj Giri

Policy Press

In Nepal, there are between 300,000 and two million bonded labourers under the so-called haliya and kamaiya systems. A bonded-labour system has existed for hundreds of years in Nepal, where children are used by parents to pay off debts incurred to landlords by offering their own children's labour to the landlords. While away from their home, children – particularly girls – are open to a variety of forms of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, and struggle to maintain their work responsibilities alongside their desire to stay in education and improve their lot. Again, laws exist in Nepal to ban this system of kamaiya, yet the forms of child abuse are so extensive that they fall within the International Labour Organisation's definition of the worst forms of child labour. What had been an adult form of debt bondage has shifted, as a result of pressures of poverty, into a system based now as much on children as adults, with the political system turning a blind eye to the practice.

Keywords:   Nepal, haliya, kamaiya, child abuse, child labour, debt bondage, poverty, landlords, children

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