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Nigeria key to ending Child Labour in Africa — ILO

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Labour, minimum wage
Nigerian Labour Congress

By Victor Young

The International Labour Organisation, ILO, has declared that   Nigeria is  key in eliminating child labour, trafficking and slavery in Africa   as she is a pathfinder country in 8.7 Alliance against modern slavery.

The Director General of the ILO Mr. Guy Ryder made the declaration at a high level bilateral meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige by the sidelines    of the on-going conference, entitled “Taking Next Steps; Ending Child Labour by 2025,” taking place in Leiden, Netherlands.

While commending Nigeria for her untiring efforts, Mr. Ryder said    “Africa being in the conference is 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.

In his response, the Minister catalogued the efforts of the Federal Government, remarking the domestication of the ILO Conventions 138 and 182 on the Minimum Age and Worst Forms of Child Labour and the   enactment of the Child Rights Acts of 2003, to consolidate all the existing laws on the fundamental rights of children.

Ngige  informed the Director General 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 was 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.

READ ALSO: Child labour, human trafficking remain important concerns in global supply chain

The Minister argued that central to the raging social problem was poverty, hence,    asked that international cooperation be focused on assistance to the education of the deprived child, institutionalization of the social welfare programmes    to empower poor parents and provision of    logistics for mass mobilization against child labour .

“We will need assistance to site special schools in the    mining fields of Zamfara, Niger, Katsina, Nasarawa   and Plateau States, in the cocoa    plantations of Ondo, Ekiti, Osun,    Abia as well as in the palm oil farms of    Imo, Abia , Cross River, Anambra, Edo among others where poverty has taken children away from schools,” Ngige pleaded with the ILO Director General .

On anti-labour practices such as    casualization, insufficient paid work, working-poor among others, the Minister said the Ministry’s strategy was to sensitize all the social partners to their responsibilities, citing the pressure on    Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) to expand its activities to all the states of the federation to net in dispersed private sector groups and ease accountability to labour standards. He further stated the Ministry was tackling    the recent unilateral declaration of redundancy by some banks.

Vanguard

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