Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, minister for women affairs, says children should participate in the country’s urban development.
Kennedy-Ohanenye spoke on Thursday at the 2023 Anambra investment summit.
According to the minister, children in other parts of the world like China engage in production which is the reason for the country’s high urban development….CONTINUE READING
“I am pleading for us to look into more production of some of these things in our societies, especially the necessities like the matchbox, the toothpick, the cotton buds, the sanitary pads and stuff like that,” she said.
“Let us introduce urban development in the schools, if we can think about using Fridays as free for our children to start producing things just like they do in China. In China, even young kids get involved in production.”
The minister said she has already spoken to the president of the Traders Union Association who is ready to partner on the initiative so that “when they produce these things, they carry it and market it within our country”.
Kennedy-Ohanenye said the move would check the high unemployment rates in the country and curtail drug abuse among children.
“They will school and they will equally do some production to start earning money on time. It will equally curtail the insecurity in our society,” she added.
“Let us help ourselves. If we are hoping on government to do it all, it will never happen.”
CHILD LABOUR IN NIGERIA
The federal ministry of women affairs and social development which Kennedy-Ohanenye heads is also mandated to see to protecting the development and rights of children in Nigeria.
However, the minister’s recent comments have raised concerns about child rights violations as the children may be exposed to child labour if her idea sails through.
The child rights Act 2003 defines acts that constitute child labour and also stipulates some penalties for defaulters.
According to the Act, any person or group of persons:
Who subjects a child to any form of exploitative or forced labour;
Who employs a child to work in a capacity other than domestic or light agricultural and horticultural work as a family member;
Who asks a child to carry, lift or move heavy items which could pose negative effects on the child’s social, physical, moral, spiritual, and mental development;
Who employs a child as a domestic help outside the child’s family environment or home;
Who employs a child in an industrial undertaking other than required and duly supervised technical work in schools or other approved institutions; is deemed guilty of child labour in Nigeria and liable for conviction and imprisonment for 5 years or the payment of a fine not exceeding N500,000 (five hundred thousand naira). Depending on the gravity of the crime, the defaulter can be made to serve the term and also pay the fine….CONTINUE READING