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Thursday, May 23, 2024

40% of Nigerian children stuck in child labour

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Four out of every ten children in Nigeria are trapped in child labour, a Nigeria Child Labour survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed.

The report, ‘Nigeria Child Labour Survey 2022,’ was launched in Abuja on Thursday.

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Specifically, the survey established that 39.2 per cent of Nigerian children across all age groups were in forced labour.

The report noted that child labour was endemic in the country, with children aged five to 14 years accounting for 39.7 per cent of the incidences, while those aged 15 and 17 years accounted for 37.3 per of minors in forced labour.

“Overall, the survey findings reveal that 39.2 per cent of children 5 to 17 years old in Nigeria are involved in child labour – four out of every ten children. Child labour is persistent in all age groups, with 39.7 per cent of children in the 5-14 age group and 37.3 per cent in the 15-17 age group,” the report stated.

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The report found that the prevalence of child labour was higher in rural areas, where 44.8 per cent of children were engaged in the activity compared to 30.0 per cent in urban areas.

The report also highlighted that 62.4 per cent of children aged five to 17 years in Nigeria lived in rural areas.

The South-East and North-East regions, the report noted, were experiencing the highest incidence of child labour, with 49.9 per cent and 49.4 per cent, respectively.

While the report highlighted community and household factors contributing to child labour, it stressed that the practice was more common in poorer households, especially where the head is less educated.

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The report further indicated that nearly 94 per cent of the children were engaged in own-use production of goods, while 24.2 per cent were in employment and 11.3 per cent in unpaid trainee work.

The data emphasised that child labour puts children’s health at risk, noting that of children aged five to 17 years in child labour, 53.3 per cent had been exposed to at least one workplace hazard while 16.3 per cent have experienced a direct injury.

The NBS stressed that understanding where child labour is most prevalent is crucial for the government at all levels when planning interventions to mitigate it.

In a brief remark at the launch, the Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Vanessa Phala, lauded the report.

She noted that stakeholders could not ignore the urgency to act decisively to safeguard the rights and restore the childhood of the children who were trapped in child labour.

READ ALSO: NAPTIP rescues five child labourers, seals construction site in Enugu

She also expressed delight that after 22 years, Nigeria will eventually be able to present the state of child labour in the country accurately and comprehensively.

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