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Types of child labour

Whilst the overwhelming majority of child labour in Nepal is in the agricultural sector, there are also other types that are common as listed below.

Circus children

A newly recognised phenomenon is the trafficking of children to work in circuses in India. An organisation called the Esther Benjamins Trust is currently working solely with these children.

Commercial sexual exploitation

Child prostitution takes place in massage parlors, cabin restaurants, and dance bars, and many children (particularly girls) are trafficked to the Indian sex industry.

Construction work

It is very common to find children working in construction, particularly smashing rocks and helping in building.

Domestic service

Children do various domestic tasks, including; fetching water, collecting fuels and fodder, caring for younger siblings, working in the kitchen and cleaning. Other tasks include washing the dishes and doing the laundry. Domestic service, being invisible compared to other works makes children more vulnerable to abuse.


Carpet factories are the most common place to find child labourers, although they are in other sectors too. Like adults, children work 15 hour days, 7 days a week, in very poor conditions for very little money.

Bonded labour

Whilst the Kamaiya system of bonded labour was officially banned in 2000, the practice continues in rural areas where people find it very hard to escape debt except through hard manual labour.

Migrant child labour

Like adults, children migrate in search of work to urban areas like Kathmandu or Narayanghat, which makes them particularly vulnerable.

Mines and quarries

This includes children working in stone quarries and coal mines, as well as in the mining of magnetite.


Children are involved planting a variety of different substances, such as sugar cane, tea, tobacco, millet, maize and rice.


Slightly older children often work as porters either over short distances as in urban areas, or walking large distances in the hills and mountains.

Refugee children

Children of Tibetan refugees often work in carpet factories, frequently in Tibetan areas of the country or capital city, such as in Kathmandu’s Bouddha and Lalitpur’s Ekantakuna. Many Bhutanese refugee children try to find work in Eastern Nepal.


Children often do domestic work within shops, restaurants, hotels, and bars.

Street work

Street vendors of newspapers and other items, rag pickers, beggars, street singers, shoe shiners/makers. Street children are more prone to becoming drug addicts, to contracting HIV/AIDS, as well as to becoming exposed to a world of crime.


Children are attracted to urban areas to work on buses, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, and tempos.


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