The Federal Government has called for collective effort of all stakeholders to tackle the menace of forced labour and human trafficking in the country in order to achieve sustainable growth and development. The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, stated this in Abuja while launching the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) Alliance 8.7 and National Consultation in Nigeria.
Osinbajo said, “No government, country or organisation can solve this challenge alone, and eradication efforts can only be accelerated through concrete commitment, coherent and coordinated action at the national, regional and global levels.”
The VP who was represented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, disclosed that, “Alliance 8.7 is a global partnership committed to taking immediate and effective measures to accelerate action towards the eradication of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and securing the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour in all its forms everywhere.”
Speaking further, Osinbajo said, “The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates the global figure of child labourers to be 168 million, with Nigeria accounting for about 15 million; and 25 per cent of Nigeria’s 80 million children under the age of 14 are engaged in economic activities and half of this population is children exploited as child labourers and those working in hazardous situations such as victims of child trafficking, domestic work, sex work, drug peddling and hawking.”
He said addressing the issues of child labour, forced labour and human trafficking was key to achieving the SDGs relating to the ministry’s mandate, and that the launch of Alliance 8.7 and National Consultation was critical to the ministry as it was committed to ensuring decent work, as well as quality education for children, and removing them from all forms of child labour.
The Country Director of ILO, Dr. Dennis Zulu, and International Relations Officer, Africa Division, Office of Child Labour, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking, Honore Tchou, jointly congratulated the Government of Nigeria for spearheading the global campaign to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery and child labour.