• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

We need political will to eliminate child labour, ILO, stakeholders tell govt

International Labour Organisation

Governments at all levels have been called upon to use political will to eradicate child labour by creating an enabling environment for the media to report incidents of child labour in the country.

Agatha Kolawole, Project Manager of the Action against Child Labour in Agriculture in West Africa (ACLAWA), under the International Labour Organisation (ILO), spoke at a 3-day communication for development training workshop for media practitioners on the elimination of child labour, held in Akure, the Ondo state capital, said the ACLAWA project, funded by the US Department of Labor and implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO), stands as a ray of hope.

Kolawole, in her remarks during the 3-day workshop, said; “the media plays a pivotal role in combating child labour by raising awareness and mobilizing public opinion against this pervasive issue.

“The project recognizes the crucial role communities play in eradicating child labour and empowers them to act. Through the establishment of CAP committees, we created a platform for community ownership and leadership in the fight against child labour. Building on these actions, we are here today to build the capacity of our media partners
to support all action in the fight against child labour.”

Kolawole, who spoke on behalf of the Director of, the ILO country office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone the Liaison office for Ecowas, Vanessa Phala, however, urged media practitioners to commit to investigating and reporting on child labour issues within their communities and beyond.

“Use your platforms to spotlight the stories of affected children, hold accountable those who exploit them, and advocate for policies that protect their rights. Collaborate with NGOs, educators, and policymakers to ensure your stories not only inform but also inspire action. Together, we can use the power of the
media to give a voice to the voiceless and help end child labour once and for all.

“I cannot end this speech without profoundly expressing appreciation to US department of Labour for funding the ACLAWA project, without your support we wouldn’t be here today! My gratitude goes to the FMLE- the Director Inspectorate for the national guidance in the elimination of child labour and the Controller of Labour Ondo state for the consistent support on ground,” she said.

Olanike Mogboruko, the Ondo state Controller of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in her opening remarks during the workshop, said child labour was a scourge that affects millions of children worldwide, robbing them of their childhood, dignity and potential.

Mogboruko, however, said the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment is always ready to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure the elimination of child labour in the country.

She said; “together, we can create a world where every child has asses to education, protection and opportunity to reach their full potential. Let us work together to harness the power of media to end child labor by being attentive to this these workshops and make necessary contribution where necessary contributions where necessary.”

Leke Adegbite, the Ondo NUJ chairman, who appreciated the efforts of the ILO through the ACLAWA project towards eradication of child labour in the country said the mass media can help the key stakeholders in eliminating child labour in Ondo state.

Adegbite also charged media practitioners to give top priority to investigating and reporting child labour-related cases through their various platforms.

Oluseyi Soremekun, the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), encouraged journalists in the state to change the narrative on child labour reporting to build more conversation that will spur the government to intensify efforts towards eliminating child labour.

BusinessDay reports that the activity, which was funded by the USDOL, through the ACLAWA project had different media practitioners in Ondo state in attendance.