The purpose of this Press Statement is to correct the misinformation by some sections of the media with such captions as “Nigeria Fails to defend self at ILO over allegations of child labour” and “ILO indicts Nigeria over Child Labour Practice”. Contrary to these captions and the information they conveyed, Nigeria was fully represented at the ILO Committee on Application of Standards. Nigeria was one of the countries invited to appear before the Committee on June 1, 2016, concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138). The representation and defense by Nigeria is contained in the ILO C. App./PV.2 document dated June 1, 2016 from pages 14 to 23. The Committee was informed of Nigeria’s efforts to ensure that the articles of the ILO Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age for Employment are incorporated in the expected new National Labour Laws.
Furthermore, Nigeria presented to the Committee, her comprehensive efforts on tackling the issues of child labour as contained in the following documents:
i. National Child Labour Policy,
ii. List of Hazardous Child Labour in Nigeria, and
iii. National Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour (2013 – 2017).
It should be noted that Nigeria is amongst the first countries in Africa to ratify and implement the ILO Conventions on Minimum Age at Work (No. 138), and Worst Forms of Child Labour (No. 182). Also, the Child Rights Act is currently a National Law which has been domesticated by a majority of State Governments in Nigeria.
It is pertinent to stress that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment is unwavering in its determination to eradicate any form of child labour in the country.
O. C. Illoh, Ph.D
Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment