A children’s Action Research group in Nepal

Children working in the adult entertainment sector in Kathmandu decided to focus on the issue of children re-entering the worst forms of child labour after having participated in alternative livelihoods programmes provided by NGOs. The children felt that this was an important issue, as they identified that these skills-based interventions are inappropriate, because they do not result in children being equipped to earn enough to meet their basic needs. Furthermore, they are not based enough on the interests of the children or on market demand. As such, children return to working in the adult entertainment sector (and to the risk of exploitation and abuse).

The children collected evidence through a process of peer-to-peer interviews with children working in the adult entertainment sector and with NGOs supporting children in the sector. They generated evidence around a lack of follow up from NGOs once training programmes are complete, rigid options for training, and a focus on training towards low paid sectors (such as beauty, tailoring and handicraft making). For these reasons children re-enter the adult entertainment sector.

Meeting twice a month, the ten children in this Action Research group developed an action plan focused on: a) sensitizing children, through schools, to the risks of the adult entertainment sector b) sharing their evidence with local government and advocating for alternative skills trainings that will equip children to earn better, for example apprenticeship training for children. The ultimate goal is better futures for children.  To date they have formed a group in a community school comprising students and teachers, which reviews the attendance of students, identifies the challenges faced by the children whose attendance is irregular in the school and provides support in mitigating these challenges (through the school). They are also raising awareness of research findings with local government and advocating for skills training in-line with the interests of young people and market demand. 20 children and young people involved in CLARISSA Action Research have demonstrated enthusiasm for training in IT, barista coffee making, and cooking and some children in this group have themselves started training and or internships in these areas.