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CHILD LABOUR IN ABAJI AREA COUNCIL OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA
The study examined the effect of children labour in Abaji area council of federal capital territory of Nigeria. The study adopted survey design. The population of the study consisted of all the children in the study area below the age of 18years. The simple random sampling technique was used in selecting 252 respondents. The researcher used structured questionnaire to elicit information from the respondents. Data collected were analyzed using T-test analysis. Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that there is statistical significant effect of child labour in the study area. The study recommended that government and other stakeholders, including NGOs should increase their efforts in finding alternative activities to vulnerable children. Such activities include provision of vocational skills and sending them back to school and NGOs should arrange programs for child rights awareness and advocacy on child rights violations to the community, especially in rural areas where vulnerable children are coming from to supplement to the effort already done by the government. Law enforcement agents are supposed to obey trustfulness and job ethics so that the community members can be confident with their work and hence provide high cooperation in combating child labour.
1.1. Background of the Study
Despite the world‟s promises to care for every child, the scourge of child labour still leaves countless children deprived of their most basic rights. A majority of countries have adopted legislations to prohibit or placed severe restrictions on the employment of children, much of it guided by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Despite these legislations and efforts, child labour continues to exist on a large scale. Elimination of child labour cannot be at the strike of a pen for it is deeply ingrained in cultural and social attitudes and traditions intricately linked to poverty. Children work because their survival and or that of their families depend on it, and in some unfortunate cases because some unscrupulous adults take advantage of their vulnerability and naivety.
Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted in 1989 requires State Parties to recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child‟s education, or to be harmful to the child‟s heath or physical,mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
In the year 2000, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that there were over 200 million child labourers worldwide. Of these 200 million, 180 million are suspected to be engaged in the worst forms of child labour, which can be summarized as, ‘those activities . . . [that are] inexcusable under any circumstance and must be eliminated without delay” (ILO, 2002: 1). That is to say, approximately 90 per cent of working children are engaged in labour that is, by nature, detrimental to their psychological and physical well-being. These include, labour that is performed by a child who is under the specified minimum age for that type of work, hazardous work and, children engaged in types of child labour to be abolished.
The elimination of the worst forms of child labour has come to be recognized as crucial for sustainable social and economic development. By 1 February 2002, 115 countries had ratified the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182. The convention recognizes that those forms of child work defined as hazardous to a child’s well-being or unconditionally at odds with a child’s basic human rights should be absolutely prohibited by any person under the age of 18 (ILO, 2002: 11).
Children remain economically active in virtually all economic sectors: in industry, agriculture, the informal sector and in the household. The term ‘economic activity’ refers to the broad nature of children’s work. It includes all productive activities, household or market-oriented, undertaken by a child in a paid or unpaid capacity. In this study, these general forms of economic activity will be referred to as. This includes all economically active children aged 5-14, except those aged 12-14 engaged in light work, as well as children aged 15-17 engaged in hazardous work. child labour, to be distinguished from the unconditional worst forms for abolition defined as slavery, trafficking, bondage, forced recruitment in armed conflict, other forms of forced labour as well as various illicit activities (ILO, 2002: 9).
The data suggest that child labour and poverty are inextricably linked. At the aggregate level, countries with per capita GDP below US$1000 (adjusted for purchasing power) have child labour force participation rates as high as 40 to 60 per cent, compared to less than 10 per cent for countries with significantly higher per capita GDP (World Development Report, 1989-2001; Yearbook of Labour Statistics, 1989-1999). However, current data on the decline in child labour force participation over time is less marked.
In many low income countries, as national incomes have increased over time, we have observed a substantial decline in child labour. Although, a significant number of lesser developed countries have experienced virtually no change, and in several cases an increase in its incidence between 1989 and 1999.
However, alongside, certain efforts were made to eradicate/mitigate child labour. While detailed presentation is made about the efforts made by our country and also internationally, through UN and its system of organizations, in chapters IV and V of this thesis, it has to be accepted that the year 1979 which was declared as an International Year of the Child by United Nations, marking its 20th Anniversary, is a landmark effort towards this end.
In this, United Nation’s Declaration of the rights of the child was brought out, in which the importance of the co-operation of the community of nations in common tasks of meeting the basic needs of children, i.e. nutrition, health, education, material protection, family care, equal social status and protection from racial and other forms of discrimination was stressed. From foregoing, it can be said with no uncertainty that International year of the Child was a challenge to the conscience of mankind and to the community of nations to provide child rights and to meet the basic needs of children through national child development policies and implementation of wide range of programmes and activities. It is a new hope for the future of children living in conditions of severe deprivation. More details are covered on national and international efforts in the coming chapters.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
The phenomenon of child labour is one of the most visible, rampant and complex problems of our society in contemporary times and it will continue to be more acute in future also till its total elimination. The causes for this malady are discussed, at length, in the later chapters by presenting a detailed review of literature. However, to name a few, they are poverty, restricted job opportunities, adequate availability of cheap child labour, family traditions, illiteracy of parents, etc. These children, who are working as child labourers exhibit several characters like frustration, aggression, etc., as per the various studies conducted on them. Working with low wages and for longer hours, in dehumanizing conditions at the work spot, these children are susceptible to exploitation, harassment and abuses of all sorts. The cumulative effects of all these factors not only adversely affect the personality of the children, but also convert them sometimes into delinquents.
Inspite of the improved legislations like implementation of child labour Act, 1986 and National Policy on Child Labour and other action programmes for welfare of child workers, the incidence of child labour in the country has not come down significantly, and their living conditions continue to be appalling.
The child labour statistics globally and within the country is furnished in chapter-ill which shows that as many as 248 million children globally continue to be child labourers constituting to around 16% of total work force. Therefore, there is a need to attack this problem through proper planning and strategy, duly adopting a integrated and multipronged approach. The present study is therefore taken up to not only study the prevailing problem of child labour but also suggest appropriate remedial measures in Abaji area council.
1.3. Research questions
- What is the rate of child labour in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory?
- What are the causes of child labour in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory?
- What is the effect of child labour on children welfare in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory?
1.4. Objectives of the Study
- To examine the rate of child labour in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory
- To examine the causes of child labour in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory
- To examine the effect of child labour on children welfare in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory
1.5. Statement of the hypothesis
- There is no significant effect of the rate of child labour in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory
- There is no significant effect of the causes of child labour in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory
- 3. There is no significant effect of child labour on children welfare in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory
1.6. Significance of the study
The significance of this study can be viewed from the following perspectives. One main significance of this study is that when completed, it would serve as a bridge for the gap that have been created between where previous works on this subject area stopped and today. The finding of this study will serve as a basis and framework for future researchers to carry out further studies in the similar field of knowledge under study.
The government will benefit from this study in view of the fact that it will use it to draw a policy the will minimize the issues of child labour in our society. The outcome of this research is hoped to be of immense use to policy makers since it contains information on how to curb the menaces of child labour, increase morality among children.
The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) are not left out as beneficiaries of this research. They would benefit from the research findings given that this study will identify and solve the self-indulgence of child labour among children. The study will also be of benefit future researchers in similar filed including psychologist, and students of psychology.
1.7. Limitation of study
In every research work, it is likely that the researcher may encounter some limitations. The researcher encountered some challenges during the period of carrying out this research. Some of these challenges include the dearth of materials for a proper and effective research work constituted a major limitation. Again, how to get the true and required information from the students through questionnaire also constituted a constraint in the study.
Finally, there was the problem of convincing the students on the primary objectives of the questionnaire so as to give the true and required information. However, the intervention of the class teachers in the schools who took time to clear the air and convince his students helped the investigator to administer the instrument successfully.
1.8 Scope of the study
This work was delimited to the menace of child labour in Abaji area council of the federal capital territory of Nigeria.
1.9 Operational Definition of terms
Child according to the CRC means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child.
Child Labour according to Article 32 of the CRC is work performed by a child that is likely to interfere with the health and physical, mental, spiritual moral or social development