Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) has called for full implementation of laws protecting children against abuses in the country.
The Executive Director of WOTCLEF, Mrs Imabong Ladipo-Sanusi made the call in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ladipo-Sanusi decried the rate at which under-aged children were used in “worst forms of labour”, describing the situation as worrisome.
“It is observed that children are often engaged in the worst forms of child labour like quarrying granite and gravel, commercial sexual exploitation, forced begging and armed conflicts.’’
She noted that people seeking cheap labour have continuously exploited children by engaging them in domestic activities and paying them stipends not commensurate to the services rendered. According to her, anyone that wants to employ house help should engage adults not children below the age of 14.
“I want the Federal Government to re-activate these laws to protect the children and also urge the states that have not domesticated them to do so in the interest of the children. “Traditional rulers and Civil Society Organisations must rise up to their responsibilities to protect these innocent children,’’ she said. Ladipo-Sanusi attributed the growing cases of child labour to poverty and said government should make education affordable and compulsory for all at all levels. Newsmen recall that the Federal Government Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme under the National Social Protection Programme is providing money monthly to some extremely poor households on condition that they allow their children attend school.