The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba has urged parents to embrace the educational policies of government at various levels as a panacea to eradicating wide spread ignorance and ending the cycle of poverty in families.
The Director General made the call in a statement today in Abuja to mark this year’s World Day Against Child Labour. The International Labour Organization (ILO) set out June 12 of every year as the World Day against child labour to focus the attention of the public on the various acts of child labour going on around the world. The theme of this year’s celebration is: NO to child labour- YES to quality education.
According to the NAPTIP Boss, education of the child remains the best legacy a parent can leave for the child, adding that because education frees the mind from ignorance and the cycle of poverty, every child must be allowed to attain the minimum level of education available in the country.
She said that the federal government’s Universal Basic Education, the Almajiri education programme as well as other programmes run by states should be embraced by all parents for their children.
We join ILO to call on government at all levels who are yet to enforce the free, compulsory and quality education for children to do so in their states. Children belong in classrooms, not hawking on the highway and busy streets, quarries, mines, etc. where they endanger their lives on a daily basis’’ she stated.
While urging parents to be alive to their responsibilities to their children as a way of ridding the society of the activities of child labour recruiters, Mrs. Jedy-Agba explained that Child exploitative labour deprives children of quality education that would improve their lives and brighten their future.
She lamented the over 120 million children between the ages of 5 and 12 engaged in child labour around the world. ‘’This is a staggering figure when one thinks of the implications of such acts on the development of these young ones’’, she said.
‘’We need to rid our society of this cankerworm. Parents need to wake up to their responsibilities and realize that it is not the duty of their children to put food on their table or take care of the financial needs of the family. Most of the children in domestic exploitative labour are deprived of the golden opportunity to go to school and acquire quality education.They face different sorts of physical, mental, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse in the hands of their employers’’, she added.
She further explained that it was in a bid to put a stop to this ugly menace, that the newly enacted Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administrative Act 2015 criminalized the employment/ engagement of a child below the age of 12 (twelve) as a domestic help. ‘’It is also illegal to engage a child below the age of 18 (eighteen) to work in a quarry, mines, or other hazardous environments’’ she stated, adding that‘’Safeguarding the lives of children should be everyone’s responsibility; such acts that depict child labour should be reported to appropriate authorities as this will save the lives of our children’’.