Nigeria: Govt, ILO to Conduct Survey On Child Labour, Forced Labour, Modern Slavery

15 April 2021

The federal government has said that it will conduct a National Multiurvey on Child Labour, Forced Labour, Modern Slaveryple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) on child labour, forced labour and modern slavery in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) before the end of June.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who disclosed this at an event marking the national launch of 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, held at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja, said the survey is part of the pledge made by Nigeria in January at the launch of International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour seeking to end child labour, forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking by 2025.

According to Ngige, part of the action plan is the validation of the second cycle of the National Policy on the Elimination of Child Labour and its national action plan held Thursday.

Subsequently, the minister said: "The federal government will conduct 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 30 June, 2021."

In addition, Ngige said the development of a Child Labour and Forced Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) in supply chains, which started in 2020, will extend till the end 2021.

He listed some of the programmes being implemented by government to include strengthening of conditional cash programme to prevent an increase in child labour, empowering more people engaged in granite quarry, rice farming, artisanal gold mining and cocoa farming by empowering 350,000 vulnerable households and child labour victims by December 2021.

Other schemes include Rapid Result Cash Register (RRCR) launched on January 19 for additional one million households of four persons each (four million persons to benefit) of urban poor and vulnerable people.

"This is in addition to the World Bank assisted Conditional Cash-Transfer Register (CCTR) of 2.5 million households (total of 10 million persons) already benefitting as part of ongoing Nigeria Social Investment Programme (NSIP) being managed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development," he said.

In her remarks, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said the ministry is condemning all forms of child labour and other societal practices that undermine the wellbeing of children.

She expressed dismay that despite efforts by the federal government to combat child labour and improve the quality of lives of children, some states in the North-east and North-west are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act which sets out the benchmark for catering for the needs of children.

The Director General of the ILO, Mr Guy Ryder, whose message was read by the Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Africa, Ms Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, said the organisation will continue to support tripartite partners and all other relevant stakeholders in the fight against child labour.

According to the World Bank statistics quoted in the national action plan on the elimination of child labour, the number of children involved in child labour or forced labour is projected to reach 14 million.

Some of the measures contained the new action plan to tackle child labour are harmonization of child labour projects and interventions in the country, carrying out evidence-based and sustained implementation of programmes and projects for the prevention and elimination of child labour;

continued advocacy for government commitment and stakeholders' engagement on initiatives to eliminate child/forced labour.

Others are to ensure greater involvement of social partners, implementing partners/agencies (IPA), civil society organisations, international organisations and other stakeholders; provision of a realistic and achievable national action plan (NAP) on elimination of child labour for the country;

fostering networking and collaboration among local, national and international organizations; resource mobilisation and utilisation; and development of a national database on child labour.

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