Describes Child Labour as evil
Empowering 350,000 households in Zamfara, Abia, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto, Ekiti, others
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
The Federal Government on Thursday restated its resolve to entirely eradicate child labour in the country by empowering 350,000 households/child labour victims in supply chain hubs, in Zamfara, Abia, Sokoto, Cross River, Kogi, Niger, and Ekiti among others.
The Government also described child labour as evil, bad and unaccessible in the country.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen spoke at the Validation Workshop of the National Policy and Action Plan on the Elimination of Child Labour 2021-2025 and the official launch of the 2021 Commemoration for the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour in Nigeria, in Abuja.
Senator Ngige is his keynote address said the Action Plan includes the strengthening of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme of the Federal Government to prevent an increase in child labour in supply chains, such as granite quarry, rice farming, artisanal gold mining, and cocoa farming.
He warned that child labour should not be taken lightly, the reason Nigeria participated in the launch of the International Year for the Eimination of Child Labour on January 21, 2021.
According to him, “During the launch, Nigeria presented her Action Pledges, prioritizing key activities towards the achievement of Target 8.7, which seeks to end child labour, forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking by 2025.
“Nigeria’s Action Pledges include: Validation of the 2nd Cycle of the National Policy on the Elimination of Child Labour and its National Action Plan to be validated by the end of February, 2021. This is what we are witnessing here today.
“Conduct of a National Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) on Child Labour, Forced Labour and Modern Slavery in collaboration with International Labour Organisation (ILO) to be done on or before June 30, 2021.
“Development of Child Labour/Forced Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) in Supply Chains started in 2020 and will extend to end of 2021.
“Strengthening the Conditional Cash-transfer Programme of the Federal Government to prevent an increase in Child Labour in Supply Chains (Granite Quarry, Rice Farming, Artisanal Gold Mining and Cocoa Farming) by empowering 350,000 vulnerable households/Child Labour victims by December, 2021.”
Ngige said the Rapid Result Cash Register (RRCR) launched on January 19, 2021 for additional one million households of four persons each, which would benefit four million urban poor and vulnerable Nigerians, is part of the Action plan.
“This is in addition to the World Bank assisted Conditional Cash transfer Register (CCTR) of 2.5 Million Households (total of 10 million persons) already benefitting as part of ongoing Nigeria Social Investment Programme (NSIP) bineg managed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.”
He acknowledged that considerable milestones have been achieved in combating child labour and all forms of Modern Slavery in Nigeria, though progress has been slow and unequal across the six geo-political zones and states of the federation.
He said with only five years left to achieve target 8.7 coupled with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts already made in eliminating child labour, the need to join forces and work together as a team to tackle child labour was now more compelling than ever before.
The Minister applauded what the United States government has done to support some African countries at the regional level, especially in cocoa plantations, saying Nigeria equally needs such support in places with large concentration of coffee and cocoa plantations, such as Ekiti, Rivers, Cross River, Imo and Edo states.
Recall that this is part of the major requests Nigeria made at the African Growth and Opportunity Act Conference( AGOA) which took place in Washington DC, the United States, in September, 2016.
In her goodwill message, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen called on states to domesticate the Child’s Rights, saying, “Every child has the right to education and to live in a conducive home.”
She explained that the Child’s Rights Act gives every child the right to develop as a true citizen of the nation, adding, “children are the future of this nation and we should not destroy our future.”
The Minister said every parents should have the responsibility to protect the Children, lamenting that “Our children have been abused and bastardised.”
Dame Tallen noted with dismay that some states in the Northeast and Northwest were yet to domesticate the Child’s Rights Acts and appealed to all well meaning Nigerians to protect the right of the child.
She thanked Ngige for organizing the validation of the National Policy and Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour and the Commemoration of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour in Nigeria.
Also speaking, Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Office for Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone and Liaison for ECOWAS, Vanessa Phala, expressed strong belief that the impact of the actions to accelerate child labour elimination, especially the validation of the National Action Plan, would help to fast-track progress towards achieving the SDG target to eliminate child labour by 2025.
Phala said, “furthermore, it will create the momentum that will drive positive change through to 2025. The pledges require all the stakeholders to take action in its implementation, building on its previous efforts, driving action, sharing experiences and propelling momentum towards the elimination of child labour.”
She assured that ILO would continue to support its tripartite partners and all other relevant stakeholders in the fight against child labour.
Goodwill messages were presented at the event by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association.
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