RCE Candidate Ilorin Brings Child Labour in Nigeria Into the Spotlight

Child labour has been a is one of the major challenges in North Central Nigeria and indeed in Nigeria. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), child labour deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.

To draw attention to this problem, RCE Candidate Ilorin recently organized a round table panel discussion on the issue of street hawking of children of school age, on 27 April, 2017. Street hawking is the commonest form of child labour in Nigeria. It is thriving among low income families in urban areas. A study in Nigeria showed that young adolescents (10-13 years) were more likely to engage in street hawking compared to their older peers (17-19 years). Female adolescents and students of trading mothers were significantly more likely to engage in street hawking. Respondents engaged in street hawking were significantly more likely to have failed the last academic term examination (Ijadunola 2015).

During the round table, the discussions ranged from condemnation to justification of in-school adolescent hawking. Some argued that hawking is a socialization process which prepares the child for adult economic life. The market women defended hawking as an age-long inherited tradition that allows for skill development. Others believed that hawking is a product of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and ineffective legislation. Commentators from security agencies confirmed that hawking is indeed hazardous and poses a serious security risk.

The event, which was chaired by the Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly, attracted a mixed array of the public, including school children and active hawkers. The audience included traditional rulers, community and religious leaders, security agencies, parents/guardians and officials from the Ministries of Education, Environment, Justice, and Social Development.

One of the major outcomes of the event was the urgency with which a Federal Child Labour law enforced by the State Government needs to be put in place. The event was well perceived and widely reported by local and national dailies.

Photo: The Nigerian Times​


Leadership Newspaper No. 208 of Friday, 28th April, 2017, P. 17 here


Ijadunola M.Y., et. al., Int. J. Adolesc. Med. Health. 2015 Feb;27(1):41-8