Child Rights Violation: Government Must Ensure Strict Enforcement of Law

Child Labour

It is worrisome that at least 24.6 million children in Nigeria are engaged in child labour despite the law banning the practice in the country. 

Development Diaries reports that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently disclosed the figure in its Nigeria Child Labour Survey 2022 report.

According to the report, children between the ages of five and 17 are engaged in economic activities that constitute child labour.

To guarantee the rights of all children, Africa’s most populous nation adopted the Child Rights Act (CRA) in 2003. That move was in line with the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

According to the convention, children’s rights include the right to family life, play and recreation, as well as health, and education. It also entails an adequate standard of living and being protected from abuse and harm.

The CRA provides for the protection of children against discriminatory, harmful and exploitative practices. However, till date, not all the 36 states that make up Nigeria have domesticated the law.

In light of the NBS’s recent data, it is necessary to take swift and decisive action in line with the law to protect the rights and well-being of children in the country.

This should involve prosecuting individuals and organisations involved in employing children for labour, as well as providing legal support and compensation to child victims.

States can do more to ensure that the law is enforced to protect children from such circumstances.

In response to these statistics, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development should collaborate with law enforcement agencies to immediately intervene in situations where children are found to be engaged in labour.

These children should be rescued from exploitative situations and provided with the necessary support and care.

Also, it has become necessary to launch nationwide education and awareness campaigns to inform communities about the detrimental effects of child labour and the importance of upholding children’s rights.

Development Diaries calls on all state governors to ensure the strict enforcement of the Child Rights Act in their states.

Photo source:  John Atherton


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