Child labour by age

Child labour by age
Source: Nepal Labour Force Survey, 2008/2009

Although child labour is declining at the rate of 100,000 per year, 1.6 million children aged 5 to 17 are in child labour in Nepal. Of these, 621,000 children are estimated to be engaged in hazardous work.

More girls (48%) than boys are in employment (36%), and 60% are estimated to be engaged in hazardous work. Poverty, inadequate education, legal and employment structures, and social and cultural norms are major factors in the issue.

More than 31,000 people were estimated to be in forced labour in 2017, out of which 17% were children. Practices of forced labour and trafficking have been documented both in the country (for example, in the adult entertainment sector) and across borders.

Forced labour is most common in agriculture and forestry (44%). The most prevalent means of coercion are financial penalties, and the fear of losing land or shelter.

Involvement in hazardous work by gender

Involvement in hazardous work by gender
Source: Nepal Labour Force Survey, 2008/2009



An annual national household survey is undertaken for the first time, which allows the government to regularly monitor child labour.


Nepal launches the new National Plan of Action on Combating Human Trafficking.


Nepal passes the Labour Act, which prohibits forced labour and sets penalties for forced labour violations. The government adopts a National Master Plan on Child Labour and the Nepal Road Map on the Implementation of SDGs, which aims to end child labour by 2030 through progressive reduction. A component on forced labour is included in the regular data collection system.


  • Align federal laws related to child labour with national laws by 2019 and ensure coherence between child labour policies and education laws, in terms of children’s ages, to establish a coherent countrywide legal framework.
  • Establish committees for child labour inspection at the provincial and local levels, to complement workplace inspection systems.
  • Enhance monitoring capacity and establish local committees for child labour monitoring and rescue. Monitoring is critical for policy design, however it is often difficult, particularly in the informal economy.
  • Declare ten child labour free municipalities by 2020, to serve as example for other municipalities.
  • Revise the Foreign Employment Act of 2008, and other related acts, to eliminate loopholes that leave room for abuse.
  • Establish bilateral agreements with destination countries to formalize a shared responsibility for labour recruitment issues and to protect migrant workers.
  • Mainstream forced labour and human trafficking into regular data collection and integrate databases for an informed policy response.
  • Establish labour committees and ensure their functioning needs.
  • Map and constantly monitor high-risk groups to identify where interventions are most needed.
  • Promote economic empowerment to reduce families’ vulnerabilities to forced labour and human trafficking.
  • Create decent jobs in the country and strengthen employment promotion centers.
  • Increase children’s access to quality education and strengthen vocational education to counter vulnerability due to low skills and lack of access to education.

Next steps

  • Establish a high-level Alliance 8.7 coordination committee comprising members of relevant ministries, the National Planning Commission, representatives of workers’, employers’, and civil society organizations, and UN agencies to review progress related to SDG Target 8.7 and make pertinent decisions to address challenges related to the implementation of programmes.
  • Establish a secretariat at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security for Alliance 8.7 coordination.
  • Develop an integrated work plan for 2019 for each lead ministry— a workplan on child labour for the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, a workplan on human trafficking for the Ministry of Women, and a workplan on bonded labour for the Ministry of Land Management.
  • Intensify capacity building for stakeholders to accelerate collective effort toward achieving SDG Target 8.7.
  • Develop a media campaign to raise awareness.
  • Mount integrated and collaborative efforts toward ending child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking.


  • 17 Jul 2019
    family work

    Accelerating action to end forced labour, human trafficking, modern slavery and child labour; experiences from Alliance 8.7 pathfinder countries Th..

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  • 17 Jul 2019
    family work

    In the margins of the High Level Political Forum, the Alliance 8.7 Global Coordinating Group held their 5th meeting at the Westin Hotel in New York. ..

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  • 14 May 2019
    family work

    The Second Global Meeting of the Action Group on Supply Chains was held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on 14-15 May, 2019 gathering over 140 participants...

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  • 07 Feb 2019
    family work

    Nepal held the second Pathfinder Country Strategic Workshop of the Alliance 8.7 on 7 February, 2019. The workshop was entitled, "Identification of nat..

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“There is an increased need for the government and NGOs to tie up efforts to effectively implement the Action Plan. Coordination and cooperation under Alliance 8.7 provide all actors the opportunity to reconcile the gap that has prevailed.”

Mr. Krishna Prasad Bhusal, Under Secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Elderly Citizens.
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