The International Labour Organization (ILO) has urged the mass media in Nigeria to fulfil its social responsibility to the public by consistently educating audiences on international labour standards, fundamental rights at work and the dangers of child labour, while reporting ethically in consideration of the best interests of child labour victims.
Vanessa Phala, the ILO Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Liaison Office for the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) made this appeal during the ‘Media Engagement’ and ‘Walk for the Nigerian Child’ both in Commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL), themed “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour.”
According to Director Phala, calling the attention of the public to the dangers of child labour to society will accelerate actions by stakeholders to resolve concerns on collective safety, given the connection between child labour and insecurity.
“We must realize that if we do not set and sustain the agenda on the dangers of child labour, stakeholders may delay in taking urgent and active steps required to stop it, thereby prolonging concerns on insecurity over extended periods,” Director Phala.
In addition, the Director called on the Government of Nigeria to increase investments in social protection by improving child and family benefits, fiscal spaces, legal frameworks, and coverage of rural areas with social protection programmes to reach the most vulnerable.
Director Phala further called on trade unions to focus on the participation of children within the legal working age (15-17 years) in making decisions that affect their services and well-being at work.