[The Activism Blog] Why federal government template on child labour reporting might not work

child labour

The Federal Government through the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi represented by the director, inspectorate, Mr. Solomon Ajibola has stated that it has designed a template for formal reporting of activities relating to child labour and human trafficking in the country. Speaking at a two-day capacity building workshop for northwest zonal officers in Kano on Tuesday February 27, 2018.

According to him, this is in accordance with the actualization of the Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs which is Decent work and economic growth. The template involves taking “immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition of worst forms of child labour”. 

As much as this template is a good innovation on the part of the government, the implementation may not work for some reasons which are yet to be addressed. For a start, there is a push factor that has given rise to child labour, human trafficking among others, the major factors are poverty and illiteracy.

These two factors have been with us for a very long time and government has not dedicated enough resources to address the situation. The reason why children ages 6-12 are on the streets selling goods when they should be getting an education are poverty induced and when poverty exists and isn’t being actively addressed, any initiative to eradicate illiteracy will ultimately fail.

Successive governments at state level have declared free education for primary and secondary schools but still it hasn’t addressed the effects of child labour as these children still need to hawk to feed their families and survive. In a recent documentary on child labour shown by TVC news Lagos, majority of the children confessed that they went into hawking and domestic service because their parents weren’t making enough sales in their shops, as a result they need to put in all necessary effort to make ends meet.

The issue of human trafficking too has become lucrative due to the high rate of poverty as parents now release their children willingly to human traffickers in a bid to make money.

As a result, the Push factors of poverty and Illiteracy must be addressed by the government if not the template won’t work, as those expected to report activities of child labour and human trafficking are enjoying the benefits which to them is not harmful.

As long as the Push factors exist, the template won’t be functional.

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