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With a form of social ordering more reminiscent of the 12th century than the 21st, the caste system in Nepal assigns jobs and status based on birth. At the bottom of this system are the Dalits - the so-called "untouchables" - who are born into a life of poverty and exploitation from which there is little hope of escape. <br />
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Among Nepal's untouchable class are the Kamaiya - a social group who have traditionally sold themselves and their children into bonded labour, for as little as US$50 a year. Even though the Kamaiya system has been legally abolished, the practice of bonded child labour, or kamalari, is still prevalent. The children perform menial labour, mostly as domestic servants, or in small businesses and on farms. They work all day, every day. They have no childhoods. They don't go to school. There is nowhere to turn if they are abused. They have almost no chance of breaking out of this poisonous system to make a better life for themselves or their own children in the future.<br />
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This has been going on for 2,000 years.

With a form of social ordering more reminiscent of the 12th century than the 21st, the caste system in Nepal assigns jobs and status based on birth. At the bottom of this system are the Dalits - the so-called "untouchables" - who are born into a life of poverty and exploitation from which there is little hope of escape.

Among Nepal's untouchable class are the Kamaiya - a social group who have traditionally sold themselves and their children into bonded labour, for as...
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Copyright Rob Few