The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has decried the high rate of child labour in Ondo State, urging media practitioners and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to support the campaign of total elimination.
The director of the ILO Nigeria Country Office for Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and Liaison office for ECOWAS,
Mrs Vanessa Phala, stated this
during a four-day training workshop on child labour organised for the media and NOA in Akure, the state capital on Tuesday.
Phala said, ” pILO are confronted with the harsh reality that the alarming rate of child labour in Ondo State may increase if it fail to take ownership of this fight immediately.”
Phala, who was represented by Mrs Agata Kolawole, national program coordinator of Acceleration Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL) Africa Project, said that it had became imperatives for media and NOA joined in fighting child labour in Nigeria.
She explained that a joint ILO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) research indicates a potential increase to the 160 million children worldwide trapped in child labour.
She said, “Already, 72.1 million of them are found in Africa, where COVID-19 3rd significantly affected economies and more children are burdened with responsibilities beyond their physical and mental thresholds.
“The impacts of child labour on our collective safety and development cannot be overemphasized.
“Therefore, as custodians of society, it’s our responsibility to secure the future by communicating effectively using a synergy of messaging harmonized into the single ambition the eliminate all forms of child labour in Nigeria by 2025.”
Phala, who said that ILO had engaged with relevant stakeholders and partners in its advocacy, said 45 media practitioners and staff of NOA in Ondo State would be trained to reach out to the community with the right information needed to ensure behavioral change.
“Today, we begin a significant interaction designed to deliver our messages consistently across all channels of communication to achieve behaviour change, policy change, improved implementation of laws regarding the protection of children, and standard labour practices in Ondo State.
“At the end of our interaction, we expect accelerated action at the community level and in Ondo state towards the promotion of decent work and elimination of child labour in the Agricultural sector, especially the cocoa supply chain.
“At the core of addressing culture, values, practices and behaviour is ‘reorientation’, which is critical in influencing collective responsibility across the cocoa value chain where child labour is prevalent,” she said.
She, however, called on Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Women Affairs, Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, investors, farmers, community leaders, institutions, opinion leaders, researchers, the press, non-governmental organisations, and the children to eradicate child abuse.
“It is our collective effort to achieve SDG 8 Target 7 through the elimination of child labour in the cocoa and ASGM supply chains in Nigeria,” she stated.
Nigeria Targets 80% Eradication Of Child Labour(Opens in a new browser tab)