Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has disclosed that the federal government is set to prosecute 634 Child Labour offenders.
The Minister who disclosed this on the occasion of training Workshop for media practitioners on Child Labour reporting and presentation of the National Advocacy Strategy on the Elimination of Child Labour in Abuja said the offence was committed between 2018 and 2019.
Ngige stated that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as the Coordinating Ministry on the National Committee on Child Labour has since 2013 achieved among others the development of the National Policy on Child Labour, the National Action Plan on the Elimination of Child Labour and the Development and Validation of the National Reporting Template on Child Labour.
Represented by the Director Inspectorate Department in the Ministry, Mr Dauda Ajuwon, the Minister said that, armed with these national policies, the ministry through its state Labour offices reported 5,401 and 3,937 Child Labour infractions in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
He said 1,494 and 1,278 victims and their families have been empowered in 2018 and 2019 respectively while 287 and 342 offenders are being prosecuted.
Ngige noted that a good advocacy strategy and effective Child Labour reporting is 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 said the Accelerating Action For the Elimination of Child Labour in supply chains in Africa tagged ACCEL Africa Project was launched in Nigeria on May 2, 2019 in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the support of the government of Netherlands.
According to Ngige, the ACCEL Africa Project in partnership with the Child Labour Unit of the Ministry of Labour and Employment organized 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 respectively.
He implored participants to take advantage of the opportunity to enrich themselves on Child Labour reportage and help in bringing elimination of Child Labour to the national discourse.