World Day against Child Abuse: ILO tasks Nigeria to increase investments in social protection

WorldStage Newsonline– The International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Saturday in Abuja charged the Nigerian government to increase investments in social protection to eliminate child labour.

Its Country Director in Nigeria, Ms Vanessa Phala, made the call during a Road Walk to commemorate the World Day against Child Abuse.

The 2022 Day has “Universal Social Protection to end Child Labour’’ as its theme.

“I call on the Nigerian government to increase investments in social protection to make it a right for all Nigerians, including children.

 “Government should also establish universal child and family benefits and extend social protection to the informal and rural economy.

“This is important to reduce child labour as the issues are more prevalent in the rural areas,’’ she said.

Phala noted that while social protection had taken prominent role in national and state-level policy documents, development plans and budgetary allocations, coverage remained low.

“The last ILO Social Security Inquiry performed in collaboration with Federal Government in 2019 showed that only 12 per cent of children benefitted from social protection.

“This is mainly through the Home-Grown School Feeding programme,’’ she noted.

Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment had said that the Federal Government was investing billions in social protection to fight poverty and to better the lives of parents and children.

In her remarks, Ms Daju Kachollom, Permanent Secretary in the ministry said government was working to ensure a drastic reduction in child labour.

“We have at least 15 million children in Nigeria who are into forced labour and there is no country that can develop if it does not take care of its young ones,’’ she said.

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