The Federal Government said on Tuesday that it was seeking support from the US Government to establish a Trust Fund for victims of Child Labour in Nigeria.
Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige, stated this in Abuja when he received a delegation from the US Department of Labour, Bureau of International Labour Affairs.
Ngige, who was represented by Williams Alo, the Permanent Secretary in the labour ministry, said that the establishment of the fund had become necessary to if the victims of child labour in Nigeria were to be catered for.
According to him, Nigeria needs the US government to assist it in the establishment of Child Labour Trust Fund so that the monies realised from the trust fund will be dedicated to the fight against child labour.
He said: “The child labour trust fund will also be used to adequately and promptly avert child labour abuses and child trafficking in the country.
“We also need your government’s assistance on the need to have child Labour Rehabilitation Centres in the six geo-political zones in the country and the FCT.
“We need these centres specially designated for the rehabilitation of child labour issues.
“We will require your government to ensure that the centres are well-equipped and made functional in the interest of the children, who have been in one way or the other abused,” Ngige told the delegation.”
The minister also called for support from the US Government in terms of capacity building for labour inspectors and other stakeholders.
He explained that the support should adequately address the issues of child labour, forced labour, modern slavery, and human trafficking, among others in the country.
Ngige noted that the issue of child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking in the country had been receiving attention from the Federal Government, adding that greater efforts and actions were still required.
He said that Nigeria had established agencies such as the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to address the issues of child trafficking and subsequently child labour.
He also said that Nigeria had ratified a number of conventions including the ILO convention 138 on Minimum Wage for work and Convention 182 on Worst Form of Child Labour, among others.
He said: “It is gratifying to note that the government of Nigeria has created an enabling environment for the fight against child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking in the country.”
Responding, Honore Tcho, International Relations Officer, Africa Division, Office of Child Labour, Force Labour and Human Trafficking in the US Department of Labour, said that the visit was to support Nigeria in the fight against child labour.
According to Tcho, the US Department of Labour has had several engagements with the Nigerian government on the issue of child labour, among others.
He said: “We are more concerned about the issue of enforcement on the issue of child labour and child trafficking; and we are looking to see what Nigeria needs to ensure the elimination of the menace.
“As the US Department of Labour, our major priority is centered on enforcement.
“We also want to be responsive to the Nigerian government on capacity needs.”