The Child Labour: Action-Research-Innovation in South and South-Eastern Asia (CLARISSA) programme aims to understand the dynamics that are central to running a business in the informal economy of Nepal’s adult entertainment sector, and explore how and why the worst forms of child labour (WFCL) become a feature of business operations.
This research paper explores the findings from semi-structured interviews conducted with business owners operating spa and massage parlours, khaja ghars (snack shops), cabin/hostess bars, dance bars, and dohoris (folk-dance bars) in Kathmandu. It explores business owners’ perspectives on the day-to-day running of their businesses; the risks and stressors they face; their aspirations and motivations; and, where possible, their rationale for working with children, and the types of relationships they have with them.
In addition to generating business-level evidence, the research provided evidence on a series of three business owner-led Action Research Groups, which began in February 2022 and continued until September 2023. These groups have generated theories of change, and will test and evaluate solutions to shift the system away from WFCL.