As the world celebrates International Day Against Child Labour, stakeholders have decried the rising cases of physical battering of minors across the country by their step-parents, guardians and even their parents.
Mrs Mary Izam, Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Jos, advised parents to be careful of giving out their children under the guise of poverty.
According to her, such situation had led to many cases of child battering.
“These harmful torture these minors go through result in infringement of child labour laws in the home of their supposed benefactor.”
She said that the torture affected their psychological understanding and potentials due to the injuries they are inflicted with, they are also scared mentally and physically.
She explained that the World Day Against Child Labour should be a reminder to parents and guardians that children deserved the right to education, to live normal lives and not being used as beast of burden, where they are treated in barbaric ways.
“The rights of children must be respected, we join the world to condemn this heinous act, which is a criminal offence, we also call for severe punishment for perpetrators of this crime,“ she said.
Also, speaking to NAN, Mrs Mildred Bako, the Coordinator of The Voice for the Girl-Child Foundation, an NGO, called on governments at all levels to be more proactive in their responsibilities of caring and protecting children.
“On Plateau, due to the crisis we have experienced, we have many cases of child labour and child trafficking from this area to places such as Lagos and Abuja, without the knowledge of government and relevant authorities,“ she said.
She said that the full implementation of the Child Rights Law would protect children from harmful treatment, urging civil society organisations to lend their voices in the fight against the menace.
NAN reports that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 and it is celebrated annually on June 12, to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the actions needed to eliminate it.
The 2019 theme for the day is “Children shouldn’t work in fields but dreams”.