By Ukpono Ukpong
The Federal Government in collaboration with International Labour Organisation (ILO) has validated the National Policy and its National Action Plan on the elimination of child labour.
In his address during the National Launch of the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour IYECL, in Nigeria, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said that though considerable milestone have been achieved in combating child labour and all forms of modern slavery in Nigeria, progress has been rather slow and unequal across the six geo-political zones and states of the federation.
The Minister further explained that with only five years left to achieve target 8.7 coupled with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts already made in eliminating Child Labour, the need to join forces and work together as a team to tackle child labour which is now more compelling than ever before.
“I am optimistic however, that the objectives of this Launch will be achieved, and challenges surmounted if all Stakeholders take ownership of this project and join forces together to execute the Action Pledges.
I enjoin you all as Stakeholders and members of the National Steering Committee on Child Labour to translate our commitments to concrete actions as this is the only way forward towards the achievement of SDG Target 8.7.
“As you are probably already aware, in July 2019, the UN General Assembly declared 2021 as the “International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour” and the International Labour Organization was mandated to take the lead in implementing it.
The declaration was a call for an accelerated pace of progress at all levels in the global fight against child labor, through practical innovative actions and awareness creation programs at global, regional, and national levels.
“Nigeria participated at the international launch of International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour on 21st January 2021. During the Launch, Nigeria presented her Action Pledges, prioritizing key activities towards the achievement of Target 8.7 which seeks to end Child Labour, Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking by 2025.
Nigeria’s Action Pledges include Validation of the 2nd cycle of the National Policy on the Elimination of Child Labour and its National Action Plan to be validated by the end of February 2021.
“Conduct of a National Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey MICS, on Child Labour, Forced Labour and Modern Slavery in collaboration with International Labour Organisation, ILO, to be done by 30th June, 2021; Development of a Child Labour/ Forced Labour Monitoring and Remediation System, CLMRS, in Supply Chains started in 2020 and will extend to 2021; Strengthening Conditional Cash-transfer Programme of the Federal Government to prevent an increase in Child Labour in Supply Chains Granite Quarry, Rice Farming, Artisanal Gold Mining and Cocoa Farming by empowering 350,000 vulnerable Households/ Child Labour victims by December, 202.
“The Africa Regional Launch of International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour was held on 31st March, 2021. At the launch of this event, Nigeria again demonstrated her readiness to shift from commitment to action towards the achievement of the AU Agenda.
All is now set to take immediate steps to implement the Action Pledges and other activities aimed at eliminating Child Labour in order to achieve the target of having a society free of Child Labour and other forms of modern slavery by 2025″
Ngige while commending members of the National Steering Committee on Child Labour NSCCL for their dedication and commitment in ensuring the success of this event, he also congratulated the members of the Committee for the successful development and validation of the reviewed National Policy on Child / Forced Labour and its National Action Plan.