In Asia, Latin America and Africa, children dig clay for bricks using shovels, picks and awls. In Nepal, after mixing the clay and water to the proper consistency, child workers form bricks using small wooden moulds. When the bricks are dry, barefoot children load them on their backs or on top of their heads. Child workers carry large loads of bricks in hazardous conditions, often 12 hours a day. Each brick weighs up to 4kg, and a child may carry up to 1.000-2.000 bricks per day. The daily pay varies depending on the number of bricks handled and can be as low as 20 USD for every thousand. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that over 40% of Nepal’s children aged 5-14 were working in 2014 – 2.6 million in total. Nepal has an overall young population – the median age of its 29 million inhabitants is 20 years old – and child labour is present in most areas of the national economy.

The reportage “Child labour” is part of a wider project called “Invisible people” by Luca Catalano Gonzaga. This project, carried out by Witness Image and financially supported by Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation, gathers photo reportage on men, women and children whose lives have been forgotten amidst old and new forms of poverty and exploitation.