These figures embody the challenge that remains in order to reach Target 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The new ILO project “Accelerating action for the elimination of child labour in supply chains in Africa” (ACCEL Africa) has the overreaching goal to accelerate the elimination of child labour in Africa, through targeted actions in selected supply chains such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, gold and tea.
It covers 6 countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda.
The project builds on lessons learned from over 25 years of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and overall ILO experience.
« We will work in areas such as public policy and good governance, empowerment and representation, and partnership and knowledge sharing among global supply chain actors working in Africa, » said Minoru Ogasawara, the ILO’s ACCEL Africa Chief technical advisor.
“The supply chains approach is at the heart of the project. While the focus is mainly on the lowest tiers of the supply chain, it will involve work with informal networks, supply, production and national and international markets, » he added.
In addition, ACCEL Africa will be supported by continuous research and identification of good practices from the project implementation and from other sources.
Taking action in Nigeria
Ondo State has been selected as a pilot State for the project on the cocoa supply chain. It is the largest producer of cocoa. Cocoa farming in Nigeria is predominantly carried out by small-scale farmers who have outdated skills and limited access to finance and technology.
Nigeria plans to establish a “Cocoa Corporation of Nigeria”, mainly private, to support sustainable development of the sector and its smallholders.
The other pilot project will be implemented in the Niger State. It will focus on the artisanal gold mines.
Gold extraction is an underdeveloped sector in Nigeria and mainly based on artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
Activities in most of the extraction sites are carried out with children involved mostly in the processing of the gold, from transporting to washing. Use of dangerous chemicals is widespread, posing both occupational safety and health as well as environmental threats.
The project will rely on the support from Nigeria’s government as well as workers’ and employers’ organizations.
According to the latest statistics, about 43 per cent of Nigerian children aged 5-11 are involved in economic activities.