• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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ILO calls for action against child-labour in Nigeria

child-labour in Nigeria

Prompted by the resolution to ensure elimination of child labour in response to the Africa social protection strategy, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), has emphasised the need for accelerated action towards supporting Subnational governments in understanding child labour indicators and data sources through household surveys in Nigeria.

Emmanuel Danjuma, national project coordinator on behalf of the director – Abuja country office for Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and ECOWAS liaison office, disclosed this at a three day training on child labour statistics and social protection statistics, held in Akure, the Ondo state capital.

Emmanuel, however, said without the accelerated action, “we will not come close to our goal of eliminating child labour by 2030. Predictions based on trends predicts a mere 22 percent reduction in child labour over the next six years.”

He added, “,Child labour remains a persistent problem in the world today. The latest global statistics indicate that 160 million children, 63 million girls and 97 million boys were in child labour globally at the beginning of 2020, accounting for almost 1 in 10 of all children worldwide. Seventy-nine million children, nearly half of all those in child labour, were in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety and moral development.

“Global progress against child labour has stagnated since 2016. The percentage of children in child labour remained unchanged over the four-year period while the absolute number of children in child labour increased by over 8 million. Similarly, the percentage of children in hazardous work was almost unchanged but rose in absolute terms by 6.5 million children.

“The global picture masks continued progress against child labour in Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In both regions, child labour trended downward over the last four years in percentage and absolute terms. Similar progress in sub-Saharan Africa has proven elusive. This region has seen an increase in both the number and percentage of children in child labour since 2012.

“There are now more children in child labour in sub-Saharan Africa than in the rest of the world combined. Nigeria faces the greater burden as the most populated country in this region. ILO and UNICEF provide evidence policy implications that promote social protection like access to healthcare and income security, as well as policies that promote decent work and gender equality in reduction of child labour.

“The reality in Nigeria has shown that, only 11 percent of the population are covered by social protection and only 5 percent are affiliated to health insurance, the lowest in the sub-Saharan Africa. To ensure extension of coverage to 40 percent by 2025 and to ensure elimination of child labour in response to the Africa social protection strategy, there is need for accelerated action toward supporting the subnational government in understanding child labour indicators and data sources through household surveys.

“Statistics at this micro level will provide shared understanding in policy development and social development intervention targeting the households at risk of child labour for targeted programme intervention. Although different states collect data for the poor and vulnerable in the social registry, there is no data element for child labour and no evidence of this item in the state survey by the state bureau of statistics.

“It is therefore critical to ensure an increase capacity to ensure inclusion of these data element for target of those individual and households at risk of child labour. Against this background, GALAB project is facilitating innovation actions at the subnational level towards meeting the 2030 sustainable development goals, target 8.7 which is to take immediate and effective measures to eliminate child labour and forced labour.

“In Nigeria, the project is intensifying actions on policies that will promote social protection programme especially access to healthcare by individual and households at risk of child labour. This will be achieved through strengthening the capacity of the stakeholders identified to be critical in elimination of child labour.”

Olanike Mogboruko, the Ondo State Controller, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in her remarks called on stakeholders to increase efforts towards child-specific protection measures by reducing family poverty risks and vulnerability, supporting livelihoods and social enrollment amongst other things.

Mogboruko said, “As we all know that child labour is a global menace and it undermine children’s rights, well-being and development, as well as the efforts being made through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other mechanisms that have been put in place to eradicate child labour.

“For us at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, we have made policies on the elimination of child labour which are; the national policy on child labour, national action plan for the elimination of child labour in Nigeria and list of hazardous child labour in Nigeria. Let me specially commend ILO through their various project and investment in Ondo state, one of which in the Global Accelerator Lab (GALAB) project.”

She, therefore, said the training workshop would further enlighten the participants and people of Ondo state on the current trends in the fight against child labour in Nigeria and globally.

Olufemi Olorundipe, the Ondo state Statistician General, who also spoke at the training workshop said; “this is a very laudable programme because we are part of the stakeholders in this project and we will try with the help of government to do our best to make sure that we generate the data so that we can know the level of how the child labour is being spread in Ondo State.

“Also, Governments at all levels needs to create awareness, there should be a stakeholders meeting on how to fight against the child labour and they should enact a law that will be on ground to punish those that don’t send their children to school.”

While the Ondo state NLC chairman, Victor Amoko said all hands must be on deck towards fighting against the child labour in the state.