Skip to page content
Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Bookmark and Share

Prevalence and Conditions (PC) Study in Nepal

In 2007, ICF was contracted by OCFT to conduct research on child labor in the carpet industry in Nepal as part of a three-country project: "Research on Children Working in the Carpet Industry of India, Nepal, and Pakistan." The primary objective of the project was to develop reliable, statistically sound and nationally representative estimates of the prevalence of working children and the prevalence and nature of child labor, as well as detailed descriptions of children's working conditions in the production process of the national carpet industries. In Nepal, research was carried out in 2008-2009 with a geographic focus on the Kathmandu Valley.

The survey methodology included preliminary qualitative research, development of a national sampling frame, and a large-scale cross-sectional sample survey of factory-based and household-based production.

The Study estimated that 714 factories and 15,847 households were engaged in Nepal's carpet industry, employing a total of 49,538 workers in the 12 months preceding the survey, of which 10,907 were children. Most (80.2 percent) of the children working in the carpet industry in Nepal were working in households. Almost all children working in households (93.9 percent) were living with their parents, and more than four-fifths (86.8 percent) were girls. Factory-based children were mostly migrants (95.7%) from neighboring districts. Most (85.2 percent) were not living with their parents, and the majority (58.7 percent) were girls.

Nepal's Child Labor Act identifies carpet weaving and wool processing as hazardous occupations. All (100 percent) children working in the carpet industry in Nepal were engaged in hazardous work based on international standards. In addition, all children (100 percent) reported being exposed to some hazardous agent or process and more than half (51.9 percent) showed indications of working excessive hours.

The Study showed clear indications of forced or bonded labor, as well as indications of child trafficking among factory-based child carpet workers. A conservative estimate was that at least 7.8 percent of the factory-based child carpet workers showed indications of trafficking, although there were no indications of forced or bonded labor or child trafficking among children working in household-based production.