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Min. of Women Affairs: Child Labour or Skills Acquisition?

In a recent development that has ignited a nationwide debate, the Minister for Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has called for the introduction of urban development activities in schools, particularly on Fridays.

This proposal has raised eyebrows and concerns among many Nigerians who argue that it could potentially lead to child labor.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released shocking statistics, revealing that more than 15 million children in Nigeria are already engaged in child labor. This revelation underscores the urgency of addressing child labor issues in the country, as called for by various stakeholders.

The ILO defines child labor as work that “interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school; obliging them to leave school prematurely; or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.”

The Child Rights Act of 2003 also provides a comprehensive definition of child labor, encompassing exploitative or forced labor, employment in capacities other than domestic or light agriculture and horticultural work, and engagement in industrial activities other than supervised technical work in schools or approved institutions.

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