Despite promises of reform and protection, more than two million children do some form of labour in Nepal.
It's back-breaking work.
He loads the moulds into the white-hot kilns at Kathmandu, making bricks for eight-to-ten hours daily and earning only Rs 1,500 per month (about $17.85) for his family.
Ten-year-old Chaand Babu Banjara has been doing it for the past three years.
"I've to load and unload either brick or coal from dawn to dusk," Chaand says. "The supervisor scolds and sometimes slaps me for even a minute's delay".
Chaand is from India's Uttar Pradesh. His father sent him to Kathmandu with a kiln labour supplier agent, so he could contribute to his family's income.
Asked whether he wishes to go to school, he asks: "How much money will I get per month going to school?"
Twelve-year-old Rajkumar Tamang of Nepal's Kavre district is busy filling brick molds with sand and mud. He has been working in a brick kiln since last year. He and his eight family members migrated from their village of Dapchoak in 2008.
While their contemporaries in other countries are going to school, many children in Nepal are hard at work as vehicle door helpers, garment factory or embroidery shop workers.
According to the Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN), around 3,000 children work in Kathmandu's 110 brick kilns, sidetracked from their fundamental rights to an education and to healthy psychological and physical development.
CWIN estimates 621,000 children aged 5-to-16 are involved in what the International Labour Organization (ILO) defines as the "worst forms of child labour." These include slavery and forced labour, prostitution, illegal activities such as drug production and generally work likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
Overall, 2.14 million children are doing some form of labour in the impoverished South Asian country, CWIN says.
Nepalese government efforts to protect children from such exploitation have proved ineffective. The Elimination of Child Labour National Plan of Action missed its 2009 deadline to end the worst forms of child labour in Nepal. Critics suggest it may even miss its revised deadline of 2015.
Gauri Pradhan, a member of the National Human Right Commission, agrees that Nepal cannot yet implement its promises regarding childrens' rights.
"What we have notably achieved in the two decades is legal framework and policies," Pradhan says. "Migration caused by a ten-year-long insurgency hampered our efforts on reducing child labour."
He says he appreciates that Sri Lanka was able to protect child rights even while enduring its own insurgency.
Nepal is in better condition when it comes to child labour than Bangladesh and Pakistan, he adds.
Tarak Dhital, child rights activist and CWIN spokesperson, says municipalities should do more to monitor the welfare of children. "Local administrations just register the birth of a child, but do not follow up after that," Dhital says.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) focus mainly on relief and rehabilitation of child labourers and generally don't address its real causes, Dhital says.
Shankar Adihkari, anthropology lecturer at Richmond International College, an affiliate of Tribhuvan University, is openly cynical about the work of NGOs.
"NGOs are just focusing on providing relief for some children from the border and other areas so that they can get publicity," he charges.
The open border between Nepal and India sets the stage for cross-border trafficking of child labourers. Children from Nepal are sent to Indian cites to work in agricultural, domestic, industrial, circus and mine sectors. Similarly, Indian children are sent to work in Kathmandu's brick kilns, hotels and embroidery shops, or at trash picking and bagging in Nepal.
Nepal's interim constitution has special provisions for the protection of children, and the Child Labour Act of 1996 penalises businesses with a fine of Rs 5,000 (around $59) and/or a three-month jail sentence for those using children as labourers.
But lack of funds prevents enforcement of the act, child advocates say.
Since violators suffer no repercussions, few people bother to file cases against them, Pradhan says.