Child labor increase will have massive implications in future- FG
The Federal Government has expressed concern over the high incidence of child labor in the country, warning that it would most certainly have massive implications in the near future.
The Minister of Labor and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, gave this warning in a keynote address at the National Children Conference in Abuja, to commemorate the 2022 World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL).
Ngige recalled that in 2015 world leaders gathered and adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 8.7 in form of a call to end child labor in all its forms by 2025.
According to him, the call sought to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor and modern day slavery, and human trafficking, and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
The Minister, however, regretted that global estimates had shown that child labor was on the increase from 152 million to 160 million between 2016 and 2020.
He said Sub-Saharan Africa recorded 19.6 percent of all African children in child labor, and a possible nine percent in hazardous work, in contrast to the continued progress being made elsewhere in the world.
Ngige said: “In Nigeria, child labor has become a scourge. Several children find themselves on the streets, forced to make a living with others employed in the industrial complexes, and hazardous environments.
“Statistics revealed that there are about 15 million child workers in Nigeria as at 2020, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), with the United Nations (UN) warning that the absence of mitigating strategies could see an increase in children engaged in Child Labor by the end of 2022. This, of course, will certainly have massive implications in the near future.”
He, however, noted that Nigeria had made considerable efforts in dealing with the menace, most notably, the adoption and ratification of ILO Conventions 138 and 182 on minimum age and worst forms of child labor respectively.
He further cited the passage of the Child Rights Act into law to domesticate the convention on the rights of the child, with adoption by about 30 state governments, the implementation and enforcement of National Action Plan on Child Labor, Prohibition and Elimination of Forced Labor, Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking in workplaces, spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Labor.
“Also, the National Steering Committee, as well as State Steering Committees, and Desk Officers on Child Labor, were established at all levels of government and institutional levels to translate the provisions of the 5-year Plan. In spite of all these, we require more collaborations and partnerships to confront the task ahead of us.”
Sen. Ngige described this year’s theme, tagged “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labor” as essentially a call for more investment in social protection systems in order to create a strong protection base that would help keep children away from the scourge.
He said the outbreak of COVID-19 and its attendant chain reaction, caused devastating effects on the long-term development and safety of children worldwide.
He noted that the pandemic plunged families into poverty and vulnerable conditions, which made them to employ various means of survival, including forcing children into the street to earn income and thereby, exposing them to higher vulnerability than adults.
He said countries all over the world had to expand their social protection systems to adequately respond to the COVID-19 crisis, which could reduce number of children in child labor.
He said the Buhari government has done so much in addressing insecurity and other challenges fueling child labor in the country, through the social investment programs, such as conditional cash transfer, N-power, trader monie, among others.
Making remarks, First Lady, Aisha Buhari advocated for a systemic approach and effective policies to strengthen social protection systems, education, and decent work opportunities for parents and caregivers to address the conditions that drive child labor.
According to Mrs. Buhari, while the event stands primarily to celebrate these children, it also provides the avenue to call for increased investment in social protection systems and schemes to establish solid social protection floors and protect children from child labor.
In a goodwill message, ILO Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Venessa Phala said they were working together with social partners and the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment to eradicate child labor in the country.
Goodwill messages were delivered by representatives of Ministers and other dignitaries at the event.
Add your voice
People reading currently
Appeal court upholds Senator Ademola Adeleke’s win in Osun
The Court of Appeal Abuja has overturned the ruling of the Osun State Governorship tribunal and has declared Senator Ademola Adeleke...
Lawmaker demands revamp of bank e-payment platforms
The members of the House of Representatives have demanded that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) direct banks to revamp...
We’ve disbursed N20bn to alleviate cash crunch, CBN tells NLC
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) met with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja on Thursday,...
Apply for Amazon Accelerator programme for fintech founders
Application closes April 27, 2023 Today, Amazon Web Services’ Startup Loft Accelerator team announced the inaugural launch of its AWS...
Fully Funded Rotary Peace Fellowships for Masters students
Application Deadline: May 15, 2023 Each year, Rotary awards fully funded fellowships for dedicated leaders from around the world to...
Organ Trafficking: Court finds Ekweremadu, wife, doctor guilty
A six-week trial at the Old Bailey has led to a guilty verdict for former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu,...
Why bank regulator raised interest rate in Nigeria
The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has decided to raise the benchmark interest rate by...
NGX, partners advise young Nigerians on investment
The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) is continuing its mission to promote financial literacy among young Nigerians by celebrating the 2023...
FG cancels excise duty payment by telecom operators
The Federal Government has removed the 5% excise duty on the telecom sector of Nigeria’s Digital Economy, following recommendations of...
Top 10 most-streamed Amapiano tracks – Spotify
Spotify, an online music streaming service, recently released its top 10 most streamed Amapiano tracks. Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, the Managing Director...