Last week, I took a trip to Bhaktapur with Dr. Bijaya Sainju, the executive director for CONCERN for Children and Environment-Nepal, for a press conference that CONCERN was hosting. At approximately 74 kilns, Bhaktapur has the greatest concentration of brick factories in Nepal. Over the past several years, CONCERN has initiated a significant number of projects to help curb the amount of child labor in Bhaktapur’s brick factories.
Well over 20 journalists attended the press conference. During this conference, Bijaya announced the partnership between The Advocacy Project, and told the journalists that I am in Nepal to stand as a witness to Nepal’s actions. He essentially called the government, politicians, and media to task and said that Nepal has a responsibility to eliminate child labor in its country. Dr. Sainju pointed out that as a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child treaty, Nepal has a moral obligation to end child labor. Dr. Sainju and other representatives of CONCERN discussed CONCERN’s joint project with Save the Children that helped reduce the number of child laborers in the brick kilns.
This program focused on education and empowerment, which is the cornerstone of CONCERN’s platform for change. Dr. Sainju said that using tools such as education, human rights training, and vocational support, children can be provided with economic sustainability that can lead to the complete end to child labor. Dr. Sainju stated that if Nepal focused on programs such as these, child labor could be completely eliminated in Nepal in five years. The key at this point is to get the public support to make it happen.
CONCERN has significant support from the media. As of the date of the press coverage, CONCERN was cover in nine Nepali newspapers, and I just finished watching television news coverage on one of CONCERN’s recent programs. Hopefully, the public will follow suit.
Posted By Katerina Canyon (CONCERN)
Posted Jul 30th, 2014