NOA PARTNERS ILO TO END CHILD LABOUR
With 22.4% of children between 5-17 years of age in child labour in Sub-Saharan Africa, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has pledged support for Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa) project of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Nigeria.
The NOA Director General, Dr. Garba Abari, stated this while receiving the ILO Officer in Charge of the ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mr. David Dorkenoo in his office. He said this demonstration of institutional will by the Agency was borne out of the conviction that eliminating child labour in Nigeria will significantly reduce child labour in Africa, noting that the lack of will by stakeholders to take appropriate actions was largely responsible for the high rate of child labour in the sub-region.
Abari said NOA was committed to the development of human capacity to aggregate target audiences for communication and effectively respond to child labour issues, adding that the Agency would use its reach to expand the frontiers of community based communication on child labour matters. He also pledged that the Agency would deploy its ability to speak all local languages in Nigeria to promote behavioural change towards child labour in Nigeria while establishing a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to track progress.
The ILO Nigeria head, Mr. Dorkenoo, accompanied by the National Project Coordinator, ACCEL Africa, Nigeria, Mrs. Agatha Kolawole and other staff, said ILO would collaborate with NOA for the elimination of child labour in the Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining as well as the Cocoa Farming supply chains which are the focus of the Project in Nigeria. He said the targeted outcomes of the project include the strengthening of anti-child labour policies, the institutionalizing of innovative, evidence based solutions that address the root causes of child labour and the strengthening of partnership and knowledge sharing among Global Supply Chain actors working in Africa.
Noting that Sub-Saharan Africa was the only region in the world where child labour prevalence did not reduce between 2012 and 2016, Dorkenoo stressed the need for accelerated action for the elimination of child labour by 2025 in line with Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the NOA, had validated the ILO ACCEL Africa Project’s National Action Plan and Social and Behavioural Change Communication Strategy documents for Nigeria. He therefore called on the NOA to activate its structures, particularly in the pilot States of Niger and Ondo, to raise public awareness on child labour issues even as the Agency would serve on the Project Advisory Committee for the project. He said ILO would also work with NOA to develop, publish and distribute Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials to support the child labour advocacies targeted at relevant gatekeepers and influencers.