In Nepal, the adult entertainment sector (AES) is perceived as a high-risk environment for children where sexual exploitation is known to occur.
The AES is made up of a diverse range of venues that includes restaurants, folk dance bars, erotic dance bars, massage parlours, guest houses, and hotels. This Working Paper seeks to understand the reasons why the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) exists in the AES, focusing on how social and cultural norms reinforce and reproduce the material and structural realities of the sector. It also explores how these norms affect the employment trajectories of minors and looks at the role of labour intermediaries – both formal and informal – in intentionally or unintentionally supporting the employment of minors in the AES.
Findings are based on two scoping visits that will inform a multi-year mixed-methods participatory research programme on the worst forms of child labour in Nepal. The research aims to achieve a better understanding of the social norms, the stakeholders, and the political economy of the AES in order to develop innovative and realistic interventions to reduce CSEC that can be scaled up and supported by key stakeholders.