Thursday, June 17, 2010

Child trafficking - Nation to strengthen collaboration with ILO

Nigeria is to strengthen collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) towards combating child trafficking and other forms of forced labour.

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu gave the country's resolve in an address to the plenary session of the ongoing International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Noting recent approvals by President Goodluck Jonathan in safeguarding jobs threatened by the worldwide economic recession, Wogu equally pledged the government's determination to bring all citizens under a safety net in a comprehensive social security scheme soon to be announced.

"On Child Labour, Chairperson, Nigeria notes with great concern the rising incidence of this scourge, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. We therefore associate ourselves with the efforts of the ILO in combating this menace. In this respect, Nigeria has not only ratified the relevant ILO conventions but has put in place the necessary institutional mechanisms to ameliorate the situation," Wogu said.

He equally disclosed the government's plans of further securing the well being of workers through the introduction of a comprehensive national policy on social security.

In a related development, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Iyom Josephine Anenih has decried the increasing rate of child abuse in the country saying it is a serious issue that requires immediate attention from all stakeholders.

The minister stated yesterday in Abuja at the celebration of the 2010 Day of the African Child (DAC) that poverty along with other cultural traits has resulted to middle men exploiting the desperation and ignorance of parents to procure children for trafficking.

Anenih, who was represented by the Director of the National Women Development Centre (NWDC), Hajiya Fatima Hassan reiterated that the trafficking rackets have assumed alarming proportions channeling huge numbers of children into employment markets of major towns, even outside the shores of Nigeria.

She added that the involvement of the children in drug abuse, domestic and forced labour, child prostitution, pornography, as well as forced marriage, rape and abduction negates the rights of the child to survival and good life.

Wogu also used the opportunity to commend the ILO for its efforts in sustaining economic recovery noting that the contributions of the ILO especially the endorsement of the Global Jobs Pact by government and social partners is already manifesting in various national development efforts.

"Nigeria notes with appreciation the role of the ILO in situating employment issues at the heart of the recovery process. The endorsement of the Global Jobs Pact by regional and multilateral agencies as a tool for combating the devastating effects of the global economic and financial crisis is already manifesting in various national development efforts," Wogu said.

This Day

Related stories: Nigeria improves and rises to Tier 1 in 2009 T.I.P. report

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Nigeria is the largest African source of  trafficked women to Europe and Asia

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