The Nigeria Labour Congress has called for policies that would bridge the economic inequality gap to address the increasing rate of child labour across the globe.
NLC President, Joe Ajaero, made the call on Wednesday while addressing journalists at the ongoing 111th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
Reacting to the address delivered by the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation, Gilbert Houngbo as the organisation marked Child Labour day on June 12, Ajaero said that the issue of Child labour was a global phenomenon that is not peculiar to Nigeria alone.
“So, I think whether it is this issue of child labour, we have made our own intervention trying to link it up or situate it with poverty, especially poverty of the parents.
“We were clear on that. You know, the more the parents are poor, the more they will turn the children to breadwinners in families.
According to him, it is the degree and the dimension that vary from country to country, from state to state and from time to time.
Ajaero said that some factors mitigating the issue of child labour in Nigeria include parents not working and some State governments not paying minimum wage.
“Children will go out to the street, some to hawk, some to work especially in the construction industries where you see child labour very prevalent.
“In such situation, even if you come up with legislation to outlaw child labour, and you are not doing anything to bridge the income inequality or the poverty level in the country, it will not have any effect in a country that is ravaged by militancy and by kidnappers,” he mentioned.
On the issue of apprenticeship which the ILO also discussed at this year’s conference, Ajaero said that each county must come up with its own unique laws with acceptable remuneration and timeline of conversion for the apprentice.