Federal government yesterday expressed optimism of 80 percent eradication of Child Labour by 2025.
Minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, said this in his office at a press briefing to mark the World Day against Child Labour.
According to Ngige, no government has made efforts to eradicate Child Labour in Nigeria like the current administration, which introduced school feeding programme to lure children back to school.
He said the government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (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.
The minister noted that this year’s World Day against Child Labour, with the theme “Act Now: End Child Labour,” focuses on pledges made for the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour and the need to take immediate action to accelerate progress on the elimination of Child Labour.
He said, “It is the first International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour since the ratification of ILO’s Convention 182 on the ‘Worst Forms of Child Labour’ and it is taking place at the time when COVID-19 crises threatened to reverse years of progress in tackling Child Labour.
“In June this year, the ILO and UNICEF will release new global estimates and trends on Child Labour under the aegis of Alliance 8.7. The report will include an assessment of how the pace of progress towards ending Child Labour is likely to be affected by COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented economic crisis that has accompanied it.”
Ngige maintained that the Nigerian Government has created the enabling environment for the fight against the menace through the ratification and adoption of key International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.
According to him, the ILO conventions ratified and adopted by Nigeria include the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, No.182 (1999), the Minimum Age Convention, No.138 (1970), Forced Labour Convention, No.29 (1930), UN Convention on the Right of the child, amongst others.
He said Nigeria has also approved policy documents on National Policy on Child Labour, National Plan for the Elimination of Child Labour in Nigeria and a comprehensive list of hazardous work.