ILO tasks Nigeria to be committed to eliminating child labour

• Promise to mobilise resources, provide technical assistance

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has tasked Nigeria Government to be committed to the struggle to eliminate child labour, saying that the picture of child labour in Africa is not looking bright.

The ILO country representative, Venessa Phala, gave the position of the ILO during series of events organised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment and its social partners on the 2021 World Day Against Child Labour, with a theme: “Act Now: End Child Labour.”

She assured that the ILO would mobilise resources, provide technical assistance and support to Nigeria, saying, “the ILO has been supporting the country in its efforts to eliminating child labour, we are implementing specific project dealing with addressing child labour at the supply chain level.

“At the ILO, we remain committed to working with the Ministry, to working with our social partners to providing technical support and technical assistance and to also work collaboratively in mobilizing resources to help our efforts and forge ahead in our quest to save our children from child labour.”

Phala said: “The ILO and UNICEF release report on the 2020 global estimate for child Labour this week, unfortunately, the picture is not looking very bright, particularly for the African child. We still have a lot of children in Africa who are still involved in child labour. 92 million children in Africa were involved in Child Labour, 41 million of that are involved in hazardous work.

“We all know that the future lies in our children and I think it is very important that we work collaboratively as social partners, with contribution from international agencies, international donor communities in order to strengthen social strategy to deal with poverty and inequality which are the drivers that are actually driving and increasing the number of child labour.”

She, however, commended Nigeria for the efforts so far, adding, “I am very happy that Nigeria is taking a very committed and conscious steps in working with the global community to fight child labour. Nigeria is one of the pathfinders that actually put themselves in the center in the fight against child labour, and actually said we are committed to exploring and implementing innovative strategies to deal with child labour.”

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, highlighted the efforts of the Nigeria Government in handling the issue of child labour, saying that the country is targeting 80 per cent eradication of child labour by the year 2025.

He pointed out that the present government has made conscious efforts to eradicate child labour, citing the policy on the introduction of a school feeding programme, which is intended to lure children back to school.

Ngige emphasised that the government through the Ministry of Labour and Employment in collaboration with the ILO and other stakeholders has the primary responsibility of ensuring that children are not engaged in work that constitutes Child Labour and that young workers of legal working age are duly protected and work in safe conditions.

According to the minister, the Nigerian Government has created the enabling environment for the fight against the menace through the ratification and adoption of key International Labour.


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ILO tasks Nigeria to be committed to eliminating child labour

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