With a current population of 23.4 million in Nepal, 10.7 million are children under the age of 16 years. According to ILO/IPEC statistics there are 2,600,000 working children of which 60% are between the ages of 6 to 14 years. 1.7 million children work in economically active fields whereas 900,000 work without any payment at all.There are around 32,000 quarry childern in Nepal and a report by Concern Nepal in 2002 painted a bleak picture of their lives. Photographer Angela Catlin and I visited two quarries close to Kathmandu and interviewed a number of children. Many are forced into work because they have to support poverty stricken parents. We met kids only 8/9 years old sitting in sweltering heat smashing stones all day with metal hammers. It's dangerous work and the children suffer health/chest problems because of the dust. Some have even lost eyes from flying debris. We hope to produce a magazine feature to highlight the issue and for more information please visit www.concern.com.npThanks.
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