FG to prosecute 629 child labour offenders

Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

The Federal Government on Monday announced plans to prosecute 629 Child Labour offenders in the country.

The government said the labour offences were committed between 2018 and 2019.

Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige disclosed this at a workshop for Media Practitioners on Child Labour Reporting and Presentation of the National Advocacy Strategy on the Elimination of Child Labour in Abuja Monday.

Represented by the Director, Inspectorate Department in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Dauda Ajuwon, the minister said his ministry through its state labour offices reported 5,401 and 3,937 Child Labour infractions in 2018 and 2019.

In a statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Charles Akpan, the minister said 1,494 and 1,278 victims and their families have been empowered in 2018 and 2019 while 287 and 342 offenders are being prosecuted.

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Ngige noted that a good advocacy strategy and effective Child Labour reporting was very important in the attainment of Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals which seeks to eliminate Child Labour especially its worst forms by 2025.

He recalled that the Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in supply chains in Africa tagged ACCEL Africa Project was launched in Nigeria on 2nd May 2019 in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation, (ILO) through the support of the Government of Netherlands.

According to Ngige, the ACCEL Africa Project in partnership with Child Labour Unit of the Ministry of Labour and Employment organised series of stakeholders meetings and developed a plan of actions aimed at taking immediate and accelerated steps in eliminating child labour in supply chains with a focus on cocoa farming and artisanal gold mining in Ondo and Niger states.