The Nigerian child who is not from a privileged background is burdened by huge pressures for survival. The child is either abandon, enslave by parents or guardians, trafficked and sometimes sold to buyers who thereafter use him for rituals or to peddle hard drugs, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance. The child most times is forced into Child Labour either by circumstances or by compulsion. Child Labour is therefore a relatively difficult situation to address in the light of the fact that even in presence of legislations the practice is still growing by the day.
Child labour is a worrisome development in Nigeria, in spite of legislative attempt in the enactment of the Child Right which outrightly prohibits child labour the practice is still on-going in our society. Child labour is any activity that drains a child and puts him or her under any undesirable condition that deprives him or her of school and any other activities that is designed to aid his or her growth.
Recently, the International Labour Organization in a survey report said the number of working children under the age of 14 in Nigeria is estimated at 15 million. It will interest you to know that children in Nigerian undertake severe jobs to make ends meet. Some of these children are the breadwinners of their families while other who have no families engage in these activities to keep ‘body and soul’ moving. The high level of diverse and tedious jobs, otherwise referred to as Child Labour, that children execute in dangerous circumstances is particularly worrisome . These tedious hard labour children do at the expense of their education includes street Hawking, begging , car washing and shoe shining. Many children work as cleaners, apprentice mechanics, hairdressers and bus conductors while a large number work as domestic servants and farm hands.
Child Labour distorts a child educational direction thereby altering the child’s formative years. Psychologically between the ages of 0-12 years is the child’s formative years and whatever condition of life the child is expose to will define the rest of his life. Therefore the quality of life of the children in a country will ultimately define the future of that country. This is therefore a call to parent to give their children the best of life to prepare them for the future.

The remote and immediate causes of Child Labour are widespread poverty,insurgency and internal conflict, the breakdown of the family unit occasioned by high rate of divorce, rapid urbanisation , high rate of school dropouts, and lack of enforcement of legal instruments meant to protect children.
We must therefore encourage the family unit structure which happens to be the Child’s first point of contact. Parents must as much as possible tolerate each other for the sake of the children who suffer more once the parents go their separate ways. Child Labour will be reduced to its bearest minimum if we hold on to the root of the problem at the home front.
The government must on her part confront poverty head on and make life easy for the citizens or creat an enabling environment for business and economic activities to strive. Child Labour festers in countries where poverty rates are high. It is not anything short of poverty the lead children into the act of child Labour at the expense their education just to survive.
More schools should be built , but most importantly, the Child Right Act should be adopted by all the states of the federation.The Act has made extensive provisions against child labour and these provisions must be enforced as a matter of urgency. If we do not address Child Labour we may be confronted with another sets of insurgents in the nearest future who may be more devastating than what we already have at hand. Addressing Child Labour must become a very important policy in human capital development of the Nigerian State.

Evans Ufeli is a Legal Practitioner and the President, Cadrell Advocacy Centre NG.

You can reach him on 08037712353 or