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The Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige, has solicited more partnership with the United States Government in the elimination of child labour, forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking in Nigeria.
He stated this when he received on a courtesy visit, the International Relations Officer, Africa Division Office of Child Labour, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking, United States Department of Labour, Honore Tchou, in his office, a statement issued on Wednesday by Assistant Director of Press, Rhoda Illiya, said.
According to the Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, William Alo, “Child Labour and Forced Labour issues in the country have been receiving attention from the government of Nigeria but more concerted efforts and actions are required. The Federal Government has done a lot to fight against child labour such as the ratification of the United Nations Convention on rights of the child in 1999, which was domesticated in 2003 through the passage into law of the child’s Rights Act (CRA2003) by an act of parliament.
“Equally, on the 13th of December 2000, Nigeria became a signatory to the Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) Convention and its Trafficking in Persons Protocol. And Article 5 of the United Nations Protocol enjoins State parties to criminalize practices and conducts that subject human beings to all forms of exploitation which includes, in the minimum, sexual and labour exploitation.”
Speaking Further, the Minister said that “it is gratifying to note that the government has made frantic efforts at combating the scourge through the establishment of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in persons (NAPTIP) by an act of Parliament which came into being on 8th of August,2003, an Agency which is the creation of Trafficking in persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (TIPPEA) 2015 as re-enacted to respond to trafficking in persons in the country and its attendant human abuses in its entire ramification, which is also a fulfilment of her International obligation under the trafficking in persons protocol supplementing the United Nations Transnational Organised Crime.”
He added that the establishment of the National Steering Committee on Child Labour, (NSCCL), Constitution and Inauguration of State Steering Committees on Child Labour (SSCCL), with designated child labour desk officers to drive the objectives of these policy documents in all the 36 State labour offices and the FCT, National Reporting Template on the NAP has been developed with the relevant stakeholders across the six (6) geopolitical Zones of Nigeria trained on its applications for performance evaluation and measurement and collaboration with the United States Department of Labour (USDOL) through the US Embassy Labour Attache on the eradication of Child Labour, are all efforts by the Nigeria Government to accelerate the fight against Child labour.
The Minister however appealed for continued support and assistance of the US government to establish a Child Labour Trust Fund, Child Labour Rehabilitation Centres in the six Geopolitical Zones in the Country and the FCT, among others, the statement said.
Tchou commended the government for taking leadership to end forced labour, modern slavery and child labour in Africa. He said the purpose of his visit was to build up several rounds of engagement between the two governments as it concerns child labour, modern slavery and human trafficking, adding that he was also in Nigeria to attend the launch of Alliance 8.7 which is scheduled for Thursday May 9, 2019.
Innocent Odoh, Abuja