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ILO, experts seek urgent elimination of hazardous child labour

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Child labour

In marking World Day Against Child Labour today, the international Labour Organisation (ILO) and experts have canvassed prioritising campaigns against child labour and promoting safe, healthy work for employed youths.

Director General of ILO, Guy Ryder, who disclosed that about 73 million children are engaged in hazardous work, said 153 million children between ages five to 17 were still in forced child labour.

Ryder noted that children toil in mines, fields, factories and homes globally, and are exposed to pesticides and other toxic substances, carrying heavy loads or working long hours.

He said no child under should perform hazardous work as stipulated in ILO’s conventions on child labour.

Noting that their lives could be at risk, Ryder added that most of the children suffer lifelong physical and psychological consequences.

“The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda reaffirms the urgency of eliminating the worst forms of child labour, which includes hazardous work, the need to promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, and sets the target of ending all forms of child labour by 2025.

“If we are to keep the solemn promises we have made to the world’s children, we must, once and for all, turn-off the tap and stop children from entering child labour in the first place many of whom, especially in agriculture, commonly start when they are six, seven or eight years old,” he added.

Responding, Secretary General of the Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCaPAN), Solomon Adebosin, told The Guardian in an interview yesterday that child labour should not be encouraged in any working environment.

He argued that as many underage children must have been forced into child labour due to poverty, it was not a child’s responsibility to contribute to the home upkeep either due to poverty or any means.

As HuCaPAN members, he said: “We have code of conduct for all our members, it ensures that no worker is treated below what the law requires and the law also states that no underage persons should be employed. We have our law that we adhere to.”


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