Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

Mr Dennis Zulu 696x445

LAGOS – The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has frowned on the nation’s use of forced labour, particularly the use of children, saying  that about $150 billion is being illegally generated annually through forced labour.

The ILO Country Director to Nigeria, Mr Dennis Zulu revealed this during the National Consultation and Launch Workshop for Alliance 8.7 in Abuja.

Alliance 8.7 is a global partnership committed to taking immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour in accordance with target 8.7 of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

According to Zulu, there was need to take immediate and effective measures to stop the negative trend.

He, however, set the deadline of 2025 to end child labour.

“In addition, by 2025 we must end child labour in all its forms. Achieving such an ambitious goal requires an unprecedented level of mobilisation of partnership, which harnesses energy, resources and strategic and political acumen to a maximum degree.

“Ending child labour human trafficking, and forced labour will require integrated thinking, coordinated actions, effective policy making and efficient use of resources in a manner we have never seen before.

“Alliance 8.7 is intended to realise extraordinary and ground-breaking ways of bringing multiple actors together for concerted and focused actions to help countries to achieve the goal and targets set forth in SDG 8.”

He further noted that children in Nigeria are engaged in the worst forms of child labour, including work in quarry granite and gravel, commercial sexual exploitation and armed conflict, adding that Nigeria had signed, ratified and domesticated a number of United Nations and ILO conventions that are instrumental in the fight against forced labour, child labour and trafficking in persons.

According to him, the conventions included the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, Rights of the Child, Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and the Minimum Age Convention, among others.The ILO Director added that this had made significant achievements in strengthening the legal and policy framework and the enabling environment for the achievement of target 8.7.

He also noted that the ILO supported the Ministry of Labour and Employment to review the existing legal framework in the protection of working children in Nigeria.

Zulu said the report of the research identified loopholes in the protection of the rights of children in the workplace, adding that Nigeria was yet to ratify the Convention 189 on domestic work.

“At the heart of lLO’s various interventions is the Decent Work Agenda. The ILO believes that productive employment and decent work are key elements to achieving a fair globalization and poverty reduction.

“I am pleased to inform you that elimination of child labour, forced labour and modem-day slavery are covered in the country’s decent work programme.

“Also the focus of today’s activity is to officially declare that Nigeria is a path finding country for Alliance 8.7  launch, the coalition and identify priorities for immediate actions at this juncture,’’ he said.

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