ILO re-enrols 1,400 Nigerian child labour victims in schools
The International Labour Organisation (ILO), through the support of the Government of the Netherlands, The Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa), has rescued and re-enrolled 1,400 victims of child labour back to school.
The Director of ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Venessa Phala, said ACCEL Africa project has the overarching goal of eliminating child labour in Africa through targeted actions in supply chains in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda.
While speaking at the National Child Labour and Force Labour Survey Validation Workshop in Abuja, Phala stressed that the project is implementing targeted actions aimed at curbing child labour in the cocoa and artisanal mining sectors.
According to her, the project has made notable efforts towards the accelerated elimination of child labour in Nigeria in line with gender inclusion, the application of international labour standards, providing social protection, promoting decent work, protecting the rights of child workers and ensuring fair representation.
“The enrolment and re-enrolment of 1,400 identified vulnerable children back into school and Ondo, Osun and Niger States. The project also provided back-to-school kits in the form of school uniforms, sandals, socks, and exercise books to enrolled children in school.
Also, to sustain the children in school, the project empowered 478 parents and caregivers of child beneficiaries with work materials to improve their businesses,” Phala stated.
She further highlighted that 401 children were trained in viable vocations and empowered with start-up equipment such as sewing machines, welding equipment, ovens, glass cylinders, insecticide sprayers, clippers, sterilizers, wheelbarrows, generators, industrial cooking gas, laptops, drums, hairdryers, washbasins, charging boxes, vulcanizing equipment, mechanic tool boxes and computers.
To further create an enabling environment for learning and retention in school, the project equally supported the renovation of two community primary schools in dilapidated conditions in Ibala community, Osun State and in Oke Agunla community in Ondo State.
She added: “The project also supported the development and validation of the National Policy and its National Action Plan on the elimination of child labour and forced labour. The National Policy and its Action plan were finalised and validated in April 2021.
“The project supported the validation and adaptation of the National Action Plan to the situational context of child labour in seven states – Oyo, Ogun and Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Niger and Enugu – between February and May 2022. Also, the project increased farmers’ and miners’ digital capabilities and connected them to current financial service providers.”
The ACCEL Africa project also supported the set-up of the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) in four towns, while 11 inactive cooperatives were reactivated in eight communities.
ILO hinted that technological platform specifically designed savings booklets were made available to 21 cooperatives and 652 members, while 27 and 57 cooperative members in Aponmu and Kpamkpa began saving commitments to the local cooperatives.