The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, has called for joint efforts among parents and stakeholders to ensure adequate protection of children from child labour and other forms of exploitation, saying children must be allowed to grow and fulfil their potentials.
Okah-Donli stated this while speaking with newsmen in commemoration of the 2019 World Day Against Child labour.
It would be recalled that the International Labour Organization launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the actions and efforts needed to eliminate it.
The theme of the 2019 World Day Against Child Labour is: “Children shouldn’t work on the field, but on dreams.”
The NAPTIP boss, who decried the level of child labour and exploitation in Nigeria, especially in stone quarries, plantations, homes and other work places, stated that child labour is capable of truncating the wholesome development that every child deserves.
She said: “Child labour retards growth and it deprives children from attaining their
potentials in life.
“The theme of this year celebration, which is: ‘Children shouldn’t work on the field but on dreams,’ is very appropriate and is in line with the determination of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to eradicate all forms of child labour in the
“It is sad to note that despite the high level of awareness and advocacy by the Agency in a bid 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 especially in some parts of the country, 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 the basic education in the process.
“NAPTIP has 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 more political will towards the eradication of child labour within their various states.
“On our own 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.”