Freedom From Forced Labour And Modern Slavery

Location: Siraha, Saptari and Dang

Geographic Coverage

Siraha, Saptari and Dang

Project Duration



Euro 2,58,931

Project Status

82% completed

Target Groups

and Beneficiaries

Bonded/Potential/Forced/Debt Bondage Labors and Vulnerable Women and Children

Funding Partners

European Union

Project Summary

Bonded labour are used diversely in agricultural sectors, they can be seen exploited in agricultural land, barn, home, cattle grazing, ploughing, harrowing, husking etc. Age and gender too are factors that play into the nature of the task; male adults are used to plough the field and in harrowing while adult females are generally provided the task to pulverize the mud, clean the agricultural site and reap the harvest. Likewise boys are engaged in herding while girls are usually assigned the role of a helping hand in kitchen; garden, for washing clothes, fetching water etc. The origins of the system of BL in Nepal are in the Tharu practice of Kamaiya in the western region; for generations this was sustained as a patron-client relationship and was relatively non-abusive, yet exploitative. After the banning of Kamaiya labour, landlords moved towards sharecropping. Money is required to meet the cost of bulls, tools, and other resources which is often taken in the form of a loan and deducted from the shared crop (neo-bondage called Zirayat). The eastern region of Nepal including Saptari and Siraha districts and Dang in western Nepal have seen the rise of new forms of bonded labour in sharecropping. Close to 95 percent of Haruwa-Charuwa households and 94 percent of Haliya households in this region are affected by forced labour. Ten percent of all adult males; six percent of adult females and one-quarter of the Tarai Dalits were in forced labour. Landlords and moneylenders often force them to pay 60 percent interest on their survival needs. Wage payments are mostly in-kind and the cash value is only 50-60 percent of the minimum wage declared by the government. Endemic poverty, wage exploitation, and access to land, health, and quality education continue to be major problems. Due to high rates of interest and low wages, there are few chances to exit the debt bondage that has been established.


To promote and ensure effective systems and mechanisms for prevention from bondage and access to human rights and entitlements through social mobilization, economic empowerment, and rescue and rehabilitation of BL in agriculture.

Expected Results

  1.   30 Community Based organizations were formed and 600 households of potential bonded labour from vulnerable communities mobilised and made aware of rights and entitlements for preventing and addressing causes of bondage.
  2. Leadership of 300 rescued and potential bonded labors from vulnerable communities build to strengthen their agency and become human rights defenders to address causes and rescue of bonded labor
  3. Creation of good governance for increasing the capacity and responsiveness of local and National authorities and their institutions

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