NEPAL: CHILDREN OF THE QUARRIES
Billy Briggs and I visited Chobar Stone Quarry, Kathmandu, Nepal. It is estimated that thousands of stone quarries exist in different parts of the country with tens of thousands of children working in them. This is certainly one of the most hazardous and worst forms of child labour and exploitation. The children excavate stone, load trucks for transport and crush boulders into gravel, it is extremely dangerous as dust particles cause respiratory illnesses in addition to many other work-related diseases and injuries, largely due to lack of even minimal protective gear. Due largely to the abject poverty, parents ask their children to provide financial support for the family. They may earn as little as US$0.39 in a day. This for crushing as many as 10 dokos equivalent to ten cubic feet of stone. Sunmaya, 7, starts work in the quarry with her sisters at 5am. School is from 9am – 4pm and then it’s back to the quarry until 8pm. Six days a week.