Abuja( ILO News)- On the Celebration of the World Day Against Child Labour, the International Labour Organisation calls actors and organisations to join and add their voices towards the acceleration of the worldwide movement against child labour.
Child labour is not about children performing small tasks around the house, nor is it children participating in work appropriate to their level of development and which allows them to acquire practical life skills and responsibility.
Child labour is about the exploitation of the most vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized children in society.
“It is the exploitation of childhood which constitutes the evil… most unbearable to the human heart. Serious work in social legislation begins always with the protection of children” said Albert Thomas, the first ILO Director General
According to the recent estimates of the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are approximately 72 million children labourers between the ages of 5 to 17 in Africa.
The National Bureau of Statistics 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), shows that about 43 per cent of Nigerian children, in the age between 5 and 10, are working and about half of the working children are estimated to be engaged in child labour. Children in Nigeria engage in the worst forms of child labour, including work in quarry granite and gravel, commercial sexual exploitation, and armed conflict.
Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams.
Yet today, an estimated 152 million children around the world are still in child labour, deprived of an education or bear the dual burden of school and work, and may suffer physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse.
This year’s celebration will look back on progress achieved over a 100 years of ILO support to countries on tackling child labour.
Since its founding in 1919, the protection of children has been fundamental to the work of the ILO and is embedded in the ILO’s Constitution (Preamble)
2019 also marks 20 years since the adoption of the ILO’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), with only a few countries still to ratify.
“In support of Alliance 8.7, a global partnership for achieving Target 8.7 of Sustainable Development Goals aiming to eradicating forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour around the world, we call for full ratification and implementation of the Convention and immediate action to address the remaining challenges so that the world community can get firmly on track towards eliminating all forms of child labour by 2025”, pledges Dennis Zulu, Director, ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office For ECOWAS.
In this regard, under the new partnership between the Government of Netherlands and the ILO, a regional project dabbed “Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa) has been launched in 2018. The ACCEL Africa aims to tackle child labour in supply chains in six African countries, namely Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda.
“We are building on lessons learned from over 25 years of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and overall ILO experience” explains Dennis Zulu, Director, ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS.
Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa)
The ACCEL Africa project will work on public policy and good governance, empowerment and representation, and partnership and knowledge sharing among global supply chain actors working in Africa, and will be supported by a continuous research and identification of good practices from the project implementation and from other sources.
In Nigeria, ACCEL Africa will focus is on the Gold and Cocoa supply chain and will concentrate its efforts on improving the legal, policy and institutional frameworks and supporting the capacity of members in employers’ and workers’ organizations, in enterprises, and in public bodies charged with fulfilling the legal and practical obligations of member States; and of workers’ and small producers’ organizations in the rural and informal economies so that they are better able to claim their rights to work free of child labour.
The target groups of the Project are primarily vulnerable children, families and communities, policy makers, service deliverers and duty bearers in the relevant ministries, local, district and other public authorities and communities; national social partner organizations; sectoral trade union organizations and private and public enterprises (investors, buyers, traders etc.), including cooperatives; and organisations of small producers/own account workers operating in the rural and informal economies and in GSCs. Civil society organizations engaged in child labour issues will also be direct recipients, when appropriate, as implementing agencies.
By the end of the project, he end of the project, at least 500 men and women would have developed or improved on their income generating activities which would have positively Impacted an estimated number of 1400 children are likely to be positively impacted. At least 300 children aged 15+ would have transitioned from school to work.
Launched in 2002 with the aim to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labour, the World Day Against Child Labour is widely supported by governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, UN agencies, and many others who are concerned with tackling child labour.
Further information on the World Day is available at: https://www.ilo.org/ipec/Campaignandadvocacy/wdacl/lang--en/index.htm