• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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North-west worst hit as child forced labour passes 24m in Nigeria — NBS

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Over 24 million Nigerian children were involved in child labour, while 14.3 million children were engaged in hazardous work in 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics report has revealed.

According to the report which was launched in Abuja on Thursday, the North-west geopolitical zones had the highest number of child labour (6,407,102) and in hazardous work (3,266,728).

However in terms of percentage of children in child labour and hazardous work, the South East Region has the highest prevalence of children involved in child labour at 49.9 percent.

“In the 5-17 age group, nearly 94 percent of children in child labour are involved in own-use production of goods (including collection of fire wood and fetching water), 24 percent are in employment and 11 percent perform unpaid trainee work.

“Children aged 5-14 years old in child labour are less likely to be in employment and more likely to be engaged in own use production of goods than children aged 15-17 years old in child labour.

“Almost 96 percent of children in child labour who live in rural areas are engaged in own-use production of goods and nearly 26 percent are in employment compared to 89 percent and 20 percent respectively of children in child labour who live in urban areas,” the report stated.

According to the report 50.5 per cent (31,756,302) of all children aged 5 – 17 years old in Nigeria are engaged in an economic activity.

It added that 39.2 per cent of children (24,673,485) are in child labour and 22.9 per cent of children (14,390,353) are involved in hazardous work.

In the report, children between 5 -17 age group in child labour spend an average of 14.6 hours per week working, whike older children in child labour spend more time per week at work than younger children.

Also, children aged 15 – 17 years old in child labour spend an average of 24.6 hours per week working compared to 19.4 hours for children aged 12 – 14 years old and 9.8 hours for children aged 5 – 11 years old.

“Children in the child labour who live in rural areas spend 2.3 more hours working on average than children in child labour who live in urban areas.

“Boys in child labour spend more time working per week on average than girls in child labour. However, it should be noted that these estimates do note include time spent performing household chores.

“53.3 percent of Children in child labour have been exposed to at least one workplace hazard. While children in rural areas are more likely to be exposed to workplace hazards than those who live in urban areas,” it stated.