The federal government has launched the report of the country’s 2022 Child and Forced Labour Survey, carried out to generate data to serve as a reference for assessing the impact of the phenomenon on the lives of children and the entire nation.

In her address at the launch, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, disclosed that the survey was conducted for the purpose of getting improved information to inform policy direction and interventions towards the elimination of child labour and forced labour in Nigeria.

Onyejeocha, who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Labour and Employment, Ismaila Abubakar, explained that the survey was conducted in April 2022 but the launch and publication of its report was delayed due to the technicalities and processes involved in the analysis of the survey result.

She described child and forced labour as a “global menace that has proved to potentially hinder the development of children, leading to lifelong physical and psychological damage, and keeping the children out- of- school, thereby perpetuating poverty across generations.”

The minister stated that by prioritising economic growth and development through job creation, the federal government is on the right path to eliminating child labour.

“When an enabling environment is created for citizens to thrive through job creation, especially the adults and parents, it is obvious that they can take care of themselves and their children to send them to school and provide for them so they have no need to engage them in child labour , forced labour, or even trafficking,” she said.

Onyejeocha emphasised that the federal government would continue to ensure the formulation of effective policies that address the root causes of child labour, and pointed out that concerted effort and commitment were required to tackle the menace across the states and communities.

She called for more collaboration among stakeholders at all levels, in an intensified effort and commitment to ensuring that the report would be a useful reference in the pursuit of effective policy actions towards the elimination of child labour and forced labour in Nigeria.

Speaking at the launch, Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Vanessa Phala, said that based on the 2021 global reports on child labour released by the ILO and UNICEF, the number of children engaged in child labour worldwide had risen by 8.4 million to 160 million.

She noted that in the face of this, it has become very critical to devise data-driven solutions to child labour and forced labour.

Phala stated that with the survey reports, Nigeria would be able to have an accurate and comprehensive data on the prevalence of child labour and forced labour in the country.

Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Adeyemi Adeniran, said the survey, which was conducted successfully across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), gathered comprehensive data on the causes, nature and extent of child and forced labour in Nigeria.

The survey was carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) with the support of the ILO, the United States Department of Labour (USDOL) and the Government of the Netherlands.

Write a Message