ILO offers support for elimination of child labour
It is only when Nigeria takes a more central role in the fight against child labour and human trafficking that the African continent would be properly placed to overcome the challenge, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), has said.
The global labour body observed that Nigeria’s membership of the 8.7 Alliance against modern slavery is a veritable platform for the country to lead the charge against child labour and human trafficking on the continent.
The Director General of the ILO Mr. Guy Ryder stated this in Leiden, The Netherlands, at a high level bilateral meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige on the sidelines of the just concluded conference, themed, “Taking next steps; ending child labour by 2025.”
While commending Nigeria for her untiring efforts, Ryder said: “Africa being in the conference was extremely important,” noting that the bilateral forum was to discuss the country’s efforts, peculiar challenges, and sort out areas of cooperation in order to bolster Nigeria’s capacity at winning the battle against modern slavery.”
Responding, Ngige catalogued Federal Government’s efforts, saying the domestication of ILO Conventions 138 and 182 on the Minimum Age and Worst Forms of Child Labour, and enacting the Child Rights Acts of 2003, to consolidate all the existing laws on the fundamental rights of children were all geared towards enhancing the fight against child labour and human trafficking.
He also informed the meeting of the policy document approved by the Federal Executive Council on National Policy on Child Labour, National Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labour, as well as the comprehensive list of activities amounting to Hazardous Child Labour.
He further said the National Social Investment Programme is designed to tackle poverty, boost the enrolment of children in schools through a home grown school feeding programme, and stem the tide of unemployment among youths vulnerable to modern slavery.
The Minister argued that central to the raging social problem was poverty; hence, sought international cooperation for the education of the deprived child, institutionalisation of social welfare programmes to empower poor parents, and provision of logistics for mass mobilisation against child labour.