Nepal abolishes slave labour system

KATHMANDU Sun Sep 7, 2008 10:51pm IST

Related Topics

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal's Maoist-led coalition government has abolished the Haliya system, a slavery-like condition, by freeing about 20,000 poor people from the hands of moneylenders and landlords, a cabinet minister said on Sunday.

Under the system, prevalent for decades in nine districts in western Nepal, moneylenders force poor villagers who borrow money from them to plough their land until they repay their debt.

They are offered low wages which are never enough to feed their families, let alone repay the loan, as labourers get trapped in the vicious cycle of debt.

"The government abolished the system on Saturday," said Peace and Reconstruction Minister Janardan Sharma, a former Maoist rebel commander.

"Anyone who practises the system will be punished," Sharma said, without spelling out the penalty.

He said the government had set up a panel to consider rehabilitation of these people and their families.

The Maoists waged a decade-long civil war against the monarchy until they signed a peace deal in 2006.

Early this year, they won a surprise victory in a constituent assembly election and are now heading a coalition government.

During the insurgency, which killed more than 13,000 people, the Maoists said they were fighting for the rights of the under-privileged and marginalised people in one of the world's poorest countries.

They have vowed to initiate revolutionary land reforms in a country where more than 80 percent of its 26.4 million people eke out their living from farms.

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Barack Obama in India

Reuters Showcase

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh charges opposition chief with instigating attack on bus  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Rebels press Ukraine offensive, Obama promises steps against Russian-backed "aggression"  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Sweet revenge for Murray as old guard hold firm   Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Eastwood's "American Sniper" continues as U.S. box office juggernaut   Full Article 

Boko Haram Fight

Boko Haram Fight

Nigeria repels suspected Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri city  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

Dolly ki Doli is a breezy watch, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Akshay Kumar's Latest

Akshay Kumar's Latest

"Baby" is a smartly written, well-acted film  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage