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Sending Areas (SA) Study

The Sending Areas (SA) Study in Nepal was one of a series of studies conducted by ICF as a component of the larger Carpet Project: "Research on Children Working in the Carpet Industry of India, Nepal, and Pakistan," funded by OCFT. ICF conducted four major quantitative research studies for the Carpet Project, as well as a series of semi-structured qualitative research activities to orient the quantitative studies. The Sending Areas Study focused on Nepal because it had the highest rate of child trafficking among the three countries.

The Study focused on the migration of children from rural areas to work in the carpet factories in the Kathmandu Valley. It was not designed to produce statistically representative estimates, but to provide an in-depth understanding of the personal, cultural, and socio-economic mechanisms driving children to migrate to work in Katmandu Valley carpet factories. The study was a rapid assessment that used a mixed methodology design that started with households in the sending areas (source of migrants) and tracked the journey of children to the carpet factories. The methods included a survey of sending and non-sending households, qualitative interviews with school teachers/principals in sending areas, focus group discussions with children in sending areas, structured interviews with and case studies of child workers in carpet factories, and interviews with labor contractors and managers of carpet factories.

The Study found that almost three-quarters of the children working in the carpet factories were of Tamang ethnicity (73.7 percent). Sending families were slightly larger than non-sending families with a median of 7 members versus 6 members, and 9.1 percent of sending families were very large, having 10 or more members, compared to only 5.7 percent of non-sending families. In addition, 75.1 percent of heads of sending family households had never attended school, compared to 57.1 percent among non-sending family heads of household. School enrollment among sending family children was lower than among non-sending family children, with less than half (45.7 percent) of the sending family children attending school, compared with four-fifths (80.3 percent) of non- sending family children.