According to a statement released by Saraki’s Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the President of the Senate stressed the need to promote integrated strategies aimed at ending hazardous child labour; ensuring quality education for all children; and addressing the vulnerabilities of children and their entry into child labour. He said: “Today, we reiterate our stance on eradicating child labour in Nigeria. Globally, according to the International Labour Organisation, over 152 million children are engaged in child labour, while UNICEF estimates that in the poorest countries, 1 in 4 children are engaged in child labour.
“From what we know, Nigeria has over 10.5million out-of-school children – the highest in the world, which implies that millions of children across the nation are engaged in child labour — hawking on our streets and working under appalling conditions — instead of being in school. This is not acceptable.
“This 8th Senate will continue to remain committed to issues of child’s rights, violence against children and child labour. This is why since we took office, we have worked on reversing this trend by collaborating with the State Houses of Assembly to push for the domestication of the Child’s Rights Act across the nation.
“What is more important, is that as we work towards the domestication of the Child Rights law at the state level, we must also push for better law enforcement of the existing legal frameworks and work towards raising more awareness about our obligation to defend the rights of children.”
The President of the upper chamber also stated that the Senate, through its oversight powers, will continue to work towards ensuring more effective coordination among the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government that deal with the issues of children, child labour and human trafficking.
“We remain concerned and we remain committed…” Saraki said, “…protecting our children from abuse and all forms of exploitation must be a priority of all public office holders.”