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Child Labour Nigeria pledges full domestication of Child Right Act

The president of the senate also assured the ILO that the outdated labour laws (bill) would be given speedy acceleration.

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The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki play

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki

(Premium Times)

The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja pledged full domestication of the Child Right Act to eliminate child labour in the country.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said this when the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Director to Nigeria, Mr Dennis Zulu, visited him to commemorate the 2017 World Day Against Child Labour.

"We want to assure you that the Senate would stand against any form of child labour in the country.

"This is something that we all have agreed that we will reduce to the barest minimum.

"We are all aware of the challenges, which are lack of advocacy and better understanding of issues and we would not be deterred of our responsibilities.

"The Senate as part of the Children Day celebration, had a round table discussion with members of States Assembly across the country looking at where we are at the Child Right Act of 2003.

"Some states are yet to domesticate it, but we got some commitment and we are working very hard to see that before next year the act will be fully be domesticated in the states," according to him.

He noted that during the meeting, innovative observations were made in order for the States Assembly to implement taking into cognisance the peculiarity of the different environments to meet their own social culture issues.

Saraki said the federal government was confident that this would go a long way to promote the need for universal compulsory education and would play the role of reducing child labour.

He added that Nigeria would also ensure ratification of all existing conventions it signed and the Senate would work very closely in doing that.

"I want to assure you that the 8th Senate is very committed to the issues concerning the Child Rights Act, Violence Against Children and most importantly the issue of child labour as well.

"We will support UN, ILO plan on child labour and also policies that concern children, and we will see if we have legislations that would bring stability and dignity in their lives," he said.

The president of the senate also assured the ILO that the outdated labour laws (bill) before the National Assembly would be given speedy acceleration.

He pledged continuous support and partnership in improvement in areas that would be beneficial to the Nigerian government.

The ILO country director said the World Day Against Child Labour provides an opportunity to gain further support of governments, among others, in the campaign to tackle child labour.

Zulu said Nigeria as a country does not have recent statistics on the prevalence of child labour but that the rate was high.

"In 2003, a Child Labour Survey was conducted in Nigeria that estimated that more than 15 million children are engaged in economic activities in Nigeria while West Africa has 25 million.

"Nearly 60 per cent of these children going to school in parallel with work and about 6.1 million of these were classified as child labourers,

"Over the years, through the support of ILO, Nigeria as a country has implemented several programmes targeted at eliminating the worst forms of child labour but yet there are still gaps," he said.

He said the major gaps were poor implementation of the National Policy on child labour and its plan of action, low capacity of labour officers, poor advocacy and resource mobilisation strategies, among others.

Zulu also called on the National Assembly to increase the budget allocation of the Ministry of Labour and Employment to meet its obligation.

Besides, he called for the review of the outdated labour laws pending before the National Assembly as a matter of urgency.

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