By Chris Uba
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) have agreed to collaborate to accelerate the progress on the elimination of child labour in the Cocoa, and Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) supply chains in Nigeria.
This will be carried out through the ‘Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa) project, a four-year initiative funded by the Dutch Government.
The implementation in Nigeria is from May 2019 to October 2022, according to the Director of ILO, Dennis Zulu.
Applauding the commitment of NECA to fight the scourge of child labour, Zulu, who is the director of ILO Country Officer for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, commended NECA for providing a platform to amplify the elimination of child labour in global supply chains.
He noted that employers’ organisations such as NECA played a critical role in the fight for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by engaging in tripartite discussions on the issue of child labour, providing inputs into legislation and encouraging the implementation of ILO child labour conventions’ principles at national, state and enterprise level.
Zulu said employers’ organisations have been encouraging their members to stop employing child labourers and to be more aware of and discourage adverse hiring practices of their suppliers that take advantage of child labour.
The director further urged NECA to continue to participate in projects with development partners to withdraw child labourers from fields and prevent child labour.
“We are hopeful that through the ACCEL Africa Project, we can continue to strengthen NECA’s involvement in all tiers of child labour elimination, as well as NECA’s capacity to effectively eliminate child labour in supply chains in the private sector,” he said.
The NECA director-general also noted that despite Nigeria’s ratification of the ILO’s Child Labour Convention 138 on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, and Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, there is still a high prevalence of exploitation in the largely informal agricultural and mining sectors.