By Joke Adeniyi-Jackson
In commemoration of World Child Labour Day, the Network of Civil Society Organisation Against Child Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) took its awareness campaign to communities within Magaji Are ward, Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The programme was in collaboration with the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Members of the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Monday visited the major market in the area where they enlightened traders on the detriments of child labour, trafficking and abuse.
The team also paid a courtesy visit to the Magaji Are, Alhaji Aremu Zubair, where they solicited the support of the community leader towards their cause of fighting to a standstill all forms of infringement on Child Right.
In his response, the Magaji Are promised to champion the campaign against child labour in the community and beyond.
Speaking to National Pilot on the sensitisation programme, the state Coordinator of the NGO Olufemi Oyedeji, stressed the need to create awareness to end child labour.
Oyedeji, who disclosed that this year theme is ‘In conflict and disaster protect children from child labour, said according to statistics about 168,000 children are engaged in one form or the other child labour in the globe.
“The purpose of our programme is to bring community’s consciousness, speaking to influential people in communities, engaging government on the need to develop holistic strategies so as to end child labour.
“On no condition should a child be engaged in work that exposes him or her, to risk, danger or any form of havoc,” he further said.
He therefore called on government to enforce the Child Right Law which was established in 2006 that addresses issues on child labour, trafficking and abuses.
“Children should not be denied of their right because their parents, stakeholders and government fail in their responsibility which is not an excuse, so government, parents and civil societies should ensure the welfare of children,” he added.
Meanwhile in his remarks during advocacy visit to the state Commissioner of Women Affairs, Dr. Ayinke Saka, the Coordinator called on government to ensure free education for all children in Kwara, adding that perpetrators of violence against minors should be punished in accordance with the law.
While appreciating the Commissioner for efforts at ending child labour and violence against children, he decried the high number of out-of-school children, urging the ministry to end the menace.
Responding, the Commissioner assured that her ministry will not rest on its oars until the right of children and women are guaranteed.
She blamed the problem of child labour in the state on culture and ignorance, adding that the ministry has made a number of arrests and have enrolled many children in vocation schools.