Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, said figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that child labour and modern slavery were still prevalent in the country.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Stephen Ocheni, spoke while declaring open the National Consultation and Launch of Alliance 8.7 in Abuja.
According to the Vice President, Alliance 8.7 was a global partnership committed to taking immediate and effective measures to accelerate action towards the eradication of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and use of child soldiers among others.
While noting that the target of the Alliance 8.7 was huge, he, however, said it was achievable with coordinated action at the national, regional and global levels.
He said, “Alliance 8.7 is a platform created to help achieve the ambitious undertaking of Target 8.7 and coordinate with those working on the many interrelated Sustainable Development Goals.
“As a country, we are very proud of this opportunity to demonstrate our unreserved determination to combat child labour, forced labour and other impediments on the growth and development of the child. In spite of government’s modest efforts and achievements, the National Bureau of Statistical Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2017 reveals that 43 per cent of Nigerian children between the ages 5-17 years are engaged in economic activities. This is an indication that modern slavery and child labour are still prevalent in Nigeria.”
Also at the event, Country Director to Nigeria, ILO, Mr Dennis Zulu, said that $150bn was being generated globally as profit of forced labour every year, while noting that it was vital to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking.
He said, “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.