“Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time. Grace Abbott
The eerie and pretentious stillness that consistently deluge our present day society is child labor; it has voluntarily inhabited every nest edge of Nigeria and
hatched its disastrous eggs with noticeable evidence. As we daily increase in our numbers, a plethora of children are engaged in coerce labor, thereby, leaving the Nigerian children with little or no opportunity of promising future. This has proved nothing but a strong bulwark which curtailed the potential leaders in no distant time to infertile soil with massive itch on unproductivity and retrogression at a whole.
These children are subjected to all forms of abusive measure which perniciously take away their time which they would have invested generously to champion the cause of better tomorrow and the ray of hope to which will definitely avail them the well time for them to wear the cloak of leadership and navigate the administrative fling of our dear country through which the travail and citizenry predicament will be reduced to the barest minimum. A lot of the children engage in begging, some hawking, some taking up any irrelevant work for sustainability and as well as to meet up with their guardian’s quotidian financial estimation which is mainly on daily bread and they’re massively in slavery simply for maximization of benefits which do not definitely count.
The growing poverty level in Nigeria is gradually increasing while the rate at which children are in child labor increases daily. Nigeria has taken over as the country with the highest number of poorest people. The National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) 2017 and Multiple Indicate Cluster Survey (MICS) say about 50.8% percent of Nigerian children ages between 5 and 17, are involved in child labor. The NBS conducted survey in conjunction with other partners including the National Primary Health Care Development (NPHCDA) and the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF), it’s obviously proved that children are ravaged with this menace which imprisoned them perpetually to untold hardship.
The remedy to this malady is the governmental policy.
1. Government should take appropriate measure to carry out reformation move to provide quality free education with feeding which will enable the children to stay in the school setting and as well encourage learning because children who are not well feed would find it difficult to assimilate what’s being taught in the confinement of the school. Government should provide educational facilities that will make the children productive and have some ways of supporting them through fostering and arranging stipends or grants and hostels should be provided to ensure healthy developing environment to make them responsible citizens.
2. Another viable solution to this child labor problem is the adoption of population control scheme. Children from the families where the number of children given birth to are many appeared to be more involved in child labor. Many people give birth in due reference to olden days time without ample means to cater for the children and the children resort to child labor as a means to alleviate their hardship.
3. Laws should as well be set up to prevent children from working until they reach a certain age. I think this will make it easier to combat the culture of child labor. In addition, law can be brought to ensure that when teenagers do begin to work, they are not allowed to work beyond a certain maximum number of hours and they’re paid a minimum wage. Such law does not just provide an explicit statement that child labor and child exploitation are wrong but also they provide a framework and a set of prerogatives which means anyone who wants to challenge child labor has the official backing of the government.
4. As poverty seems to be the root cause of child labor, government should make more effort to woo more investors into the country in order for them to set up more companies which will definitely provide employment for the parents of these children and will as well reduce poverty level in the country. A poor family may always end up sending the children out to work at a young age even if everyone else is working in the family but with very low wages. Additional child labor may be required to support the whole family and the case can be worse if one or both parents are absent, ill or have passed away.
I believe a generation void of child labor is emerging.
© Israel Eze