ILO Calls On Stakeholders To Double Efforts To End Child Labour


International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called on stakeholders to double their efforts and strengthen their unity to end child labour in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region.

The call was made in a statement on Thursday issued to mark the World Day Against Child Labour and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.

In his statement on the day, the Director of ILO Abuja Country Office for Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and Liaison office for the ECOWAS, Ms Vanessa Phala asked all stakeholders to double their efforts and strengthen their unity to end child labour in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region.

Speaking at the commemorative event held on 12 June 2024 in Akure Ondo State, Phala said: “I call on everyone here today to strengthen our unity in our fight against child labour and forced labour. We must strive to ensure that every child in the world can flourish in a safe and nurturing environment. Let us work together to make a change in the world.”

Funded by the United States Department of Labour through the ILO Action against Child Labour in Agriculture in West Africa (ACLAWA) and Global Accelerator lab (GALAB) projects in Nigeria, the commemoration was attended by over 350 students from 40 schools in Ondo State.

Phala, represented by the ACLAWA Project Manager, Agatha Kolawole, further urged all stakeholders to fulfill their commitments to Convention No. 182.

The World Day Against Child Labour, according to her, was meant for the effective implementation of those ILO Conventions, reinvigorated action to end child labour, and universal ratification and implementation of both conventions.

The Director noted the urgency to fully implement these fundamental ILO Conventions is more pressing than ever, as the world and indeed Nigeria, approach the 2025 target set by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG target 8.7) for the elimination of child labour.

“Balancing education and work poses complex challenges, emphasizing the importance of concerted efforts to eradicate child labor and ensure access to quality education for all.” Phala added.

The Controller of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in Ondo State, Mrs Olanike Mogboruko, urged all stakeholders to remember that every child deserves a childhood free from exploitation and filled with opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive.She acknowledged that.

“Child labour remains a pervasive problem that affects over 160 million children worldwide. These children are often deprived of their basic rights to education, health, and a safe and nurturing environment. We must strengthen our efforts and collaborate across all sectors to create sustainable solutions.”

Representative of the children, Akinwoye Olawale, a student at Sharon Rose College, Okitipupa local government area, called for the enforcement and strengthening of laws and policies that prohibit child labour.

He made reference to Section 2 of the Child’s Rights Act 2023 which states, “A child shall be given such protection and care as is necessary for the well‐being of the child, taking into account the rights and duties of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or other individuals, institutions, services, agencies, organisations or bodies legally responsible for the child.”

The commemoration of the 2024 World Against Child Labour in Nigeria started on 11 June with Akure neighbourhood sensitisation walk by ILO and partners.

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