The Federal Government through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has raised the alarm over “unpatriotic employers engaging the services of children on cocoa, palm plantations and quarries.”
The government said it would rescue such victims.
The NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, who said this in Abuja, added that the agency had scaled up its surveillance and would stop child labour in the country.
The DG spoke in commemoration of the 2019 World Day Against Child Labour, under the theme, “Children shouldn’t work on the field, but on dreams.”
She said, “Child labour retards growth and it deprives children from attaining their potential in life. It is sad to note that despite the high level of awareness and advocacy to enhance the understanding of stakeholders on the inherent dangers of child labour, some few unpatriotic employers are still engaging the services of children in work places like cocoa and palm plantations, quarries and other hazardous places.”
“NAPTIP has therefore scaled up its surveillance in this regard. We shall not fold our hands and watch while our children are made to face strenuous labour that is beyond their capacity and in most cases deprived them of basic education in the process.
“We have also commenced discussion with other agencies on the need to fully implement the contents of the Child’s Rights Act which outlaws street hawking and other forms of child labour in the country.
“I also call on our newly-inaugurated governors across the country to demonstrate political will towards the eradication of child labour within their various states. On our part, we shall continue to ensure strict implementation of various laws and legal provisions against child labour in Nigeria. Our determination to protect Nigerian children is firm and the zeal is double.”
According to a release on Wednesday by the agency’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Stella Nezan, the DG called for joint efforts among parents and stakeholders to ensure adequate protection of kids from child labour and other forms of exploitation.