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Media collaboration essential in fight against child labour–Experts

By Fatima Muraina

Media practitioners have been called upon to collaborate with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), educators, and policymakers to ensure publications that inspire actions to eradicate child labour in Nigeria.

Dr. Agatha Kolawole, the Project Manager of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Action against Child Labour in Agriculture in West Africa (ACLAWA), made the call at a three-day Communication for Development Training for Media Practitioners on the Elimination of Child Labour held in Akure, the capital of Ondo State.

Dr. Kolawole, presenting her remarks at the occasion, urged media practitioners to be committed to investigating and reporting on child labour issues within their communities and beyond.

She emphasized that they should use their platforms to spotlight the stories of affected children, hold those who exploit them accountable, and advocate for policies that protect children’s rights.

According to her, the power of the media can be harnessed to give a voice to the voiceless and help end child labour.

The National Project Manager observed that the agricultural sector globally accounts for 70% of child labourers, noting that nearly 28% of children aged 5-11 years and 35% between the ages of 12 and 14 years involved in child labor are out of school.

In her welcome speech, Mrs. Olanike Mogboruko, the Ondo State Controller of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Akure, described child labour as a scourge affecting millions of children worldwide, robbing them of their childhood, dignity, and potential.

She emphasised that media practitioners play vital roles in shaping public opinion, influencing policies, and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities.

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She expressed the readiness of the Federal Ministry of Labour to collaborate with stakeholders to eliminate child labour.

Mogboruko urged the media to collaborate with the Ministry to harness the power of media to end child labour, saying, “Together, we can create a world where every child has access to protection and opportunities to reach their full potential.”

The State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Prince Leke Adegbite, noted that media practitioners will give special attention to the elimination of child labour, similar to their attention to other national issues.

Adegbite pleaded with the media to give adequate attention to the issue of child labour in their coverage.

He commended the International Labour Organization (ILO) for their efforts in ensuring that child labour in farms and rural areas in the state becomes a thing of the past.

The representative of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Mary Akinyemi, called for everyone to join hands to curb the menace of child labour so that children can achieve what they ought to as children.

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