June 11, 2024

NECA, ITUC fume over child labour

NECA, ITUC fume over child labour

By Victor AhiumaYoung

Ahead of tomorrow’s World Day Against Child Labour Day, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association of Nigeria, NECA, and the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC, have raised the alarm over the high rate of child labour as the global figure remains as high as 160 million.

Speaking in Geneva Switzerland, NECA’s Director-General called for concerted efforts by stakeholders to end child labour in the workplace in Nigeria and globally, saying there is a need for concrete actions and collaboration to fulfill the country’s commitments.

He said: “Child labour remains a pressing issue in Nigeria, affecting millions of children who are denied their basic rights to education, health, and a safe environment.

“This day serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to implement and strengthen policies aimed at eradicating child labour in the workplace, particularly within business value chains, and promoting overall child welfare.”

Reflecting on this year’s theme, “Let’s Act on our Commitments: End Child Labour,” Mr Oyerinde stressed “the need for concrete actions and collaboration to fulfill our pledges.

“As stakeholders, we must reflect on our progress on this important issue and identify areas where we can intensify our efforts.

“NECA has been pivotal in the fight against the worst forms of child labour, having developed a “Code of Conduct and Guidance Tool for businesses within the Organized Private Sector”.

“This tool aims to guide companies toward the elimination of child labour in Nigeria.

“Additionally, the Association has advocated increased allocation of corporate social responsibility resources towards initiatives aimed at eliminating child labour.

“NECA urges the government at both national and sub-national levels to prioritize the welfare of children in their development agendas by ensuring that policies and programs are effectively implemented and adequately funded for maximum impact.

“NECA also commends the International Labour Organisation, ILO, for working with the Association and Private Sector Employers for their various Corporate Social Responsibilities, even in a challenging economic environment, towards the eradication of Child Labour in Nigeria
NECA and its members will continue to uphold and enforce policies prohibiting child labour across supply chains and operations.

“We will continue to invest in educational programmes and skill development initiatives that offer children and their families alternatives to child labour.
On her part, ITUC General Secretary Luc Triangle said: “The world has made a promise to children to end child labour by 2025 as stated in SDG Target 8.7. But there are still 160 million children working today. Governments must scale their efforts to tackle poverty and social injustice and propose urgent rights-based action as set out in the Durban Call to Action. They can learn a lot from the work done by trade unions.
“As long as workers continue to struggle for a decent living wage and adequate social protection, we will witness the scourge of child labour. We want a New Social Contract for decent work for all workers so that parents can earn a good living and children can learn at school. To achieve these reforms, we need democracy in every workplace, and beyond, so workers always have a say.
“Ending corporate greed is essential to ending child labour. That means enforcing due diligence in global supply chains and holding businesses to account for their exploitation of workers and children, particularly in agriculture, where over 70 percent of child labour occurs.
“We urge all nations to improve their implementation of ILO Convention 182, on the worst forms of child labour and we urge the ratification of Convention 138 on Minimum Age by the 11 governments that have not yet done so”.