The Federal Government has enjoined market authorities in the country to join forces with Government in the fight against child labour.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo, made the call at the Rally organised by the Ministry as part of events in commemoration of the 2019 World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) in Nigeria.
He stated that Market authorities could fight child labour by disallowing child labour in the markets and environs, and taking practical steps to ensure that children are in school or attend vocational training.
Alo also encouraged Market authorities to report incidences of child labour to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for necessary action.
He defined child labour in the market as “any work done in the market that deprives children of their childhood, their potentials and dignity, and that is harmful to their physical, moral and mental development, such as hawking, among others.”
He disclosed that the theme for this year’s commemoration is “Children Shouldn’t Work in Fields but on Dreams”, stressing that even if children had to be in market places assisting their parents/guardians, they should not be denied basic education.
In a remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Abubakar Muazu, stated that the adequate development of a child should be the utmost priority of any country, because children constituted the future of a people.
He encouraged all stakeholders to accord the necessary importance and attention to the issues of child labour.
Speaking also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar, represented by Director, Food and Strategic Reserve, Engr S. A. Haruna, condemned child labour, and called for proper legislation against Child Labour in Nigeria.
In his address, the ILO Country Director, Dennis Zulu, noted that the cause of child labour is primarily related to poverty and other challenges.
He said a lot could be done to ensure that children are not subjected to child labour. “We need to ensure that our children go to school and have the opportunity to play and enjoy themselves as children and this cannot be achieved if they are involved in child labour”, Zulu added.
He then enjoined all stakeholders to be ambassadors of the fight against child labour.