Smugglers traffick rural kids to work in brick kilns

- DILLIRAM KHATIWADA, UDAYPUR
Smugglers traffick rural kids to work in brick kilns

Feb 9, 2015-

In a startling revelation, human smugglers have been found engaged in trafficking children and teenagers by promising them lucrative jobs in the Capital.

The human smugglers were found to be luring young children from remote villages located in the north-west region of the district and forcing them to work as labourers at brick kilns in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur that feed the construction boom in the Capital.

This gruesome fact came to light after a couple of child victims of trafficking  from Thanagaun VDC, who were smuggled to Kathmandu managed to reach their village after escaping the clutches of the brutal human smugglers.

According to the victims, the smugglers have been trafficking children from remote VDCs of the district, including Thanagaun, Okhale, Rupatar, Lekhgaun, Mayankhu and other VDCs since many years.

“They used to force us to work round the clock at gunpoint and subjected us to physical abuse whenever we expressed our desire to go out,” said one of the victim Dhan Bahadur Sarki, 15, of Jyamire-8. Stating that they were also denied payment for their hard labour, Bahadur said that they were paid a meagre Rs 200 for carrying 1,000 unbaked bricks.

Meanwhile, after managing to free themselves from the dangerous clutches of the human smugglers, Dhan Bahadur and Jhagar Bahadur Sarki have lodged a complaint against Rimki Rai and Sharmila Shrestha of Rupatar VDC of selling them as labourers to the human smugglers by duping them and their family members saying they will provided “lucrative jobs” in Kathmandu.

Deepak Nepali, another victim of human trafficking from Thanagaun,  said that there were around 200 children, including teenagers and elderly working at brick kilns in Bhaktapur alone.

He revealed that the smugglers got Rs 10 everyday as commission from the daily wage earned by the child victims. “The brick kilns provide food, accommodation, drinking water supply and other facilities to us,” said Lok Bahadur Karki, another child victim who had started working at the kilns in Bhaktapur from last year.

According to one Naresh Rai, a local of Lekhgaun, around 150 children had been smuggled from Udaypur VDCs this year alone to work in the brick kilns of Lekhgaun. Stating that the smugglers targeted children belonging to economically deprived households, Rai accused the concerned authorities of turning a blind eye to the alarming number of children being smuggled to Kathmandu to work in brick kilns where working conditions are often unsafe and unhealthy.  

 

Published: 10-02-2015 07:02

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