Background of the study
Children are society’s most vulnerable people. With no voice to advocate for their rights, they are in a poor position to influence political policy. A child is a young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority. A child’s place is in school where they can receive a proper education and use it to build a promising future, not just for themselves but for the society in which they live as well. It is the task and moral responsibility of adults and officials in power to priortize basic human rights over the gilded benefits of cheap labor and end this practice permanently. For several years, child labor has been one of the most significant impediments to social progress. In several nations, eliminating all types of child labor is a priority and a long-term target. It is now regarded as a serious problem, especially in developing countries. Child labor applies to children who have lost touch with their upbringing and are unable to enjoy the simple necessities of life.According to the International Labour Organization (ILO, 2013), there are about 215 million children aged five to fourteen who work around the world. They are often mistreated and forced to work long hours in deplorable conditions. This will have a negative impact on their physical, behavioral, and emotional health. These children lack human rights such as access to education and health care. Many child labourers are victims of the worst forms of child labour (WFCL), such as forced or bonded labour, using children in armed conflict, trafficking for exploitation, including sexual exploitation, illicit work or other work which is likely to harm their health, safety or morals (hazardous work). For Children who are 13 and above may do “light work” as long as it does not threaten their health and safety or hinder their education and vocational training. In Nigeria today we have a high number of outside school children who are been used for cheap labour especially in cocoa companies, who give these children hazardous work with little pay. Over the years, child labour in Nigeria has grown past using these children on the farm, now children are been trafficked to other countries to be used as either a sex worker or house help.
Statement of research problem
The issue of child labour in Nigeria has evolved over time as the policy curbing child labor exists but lack of enforcement of labor restrictions. This is manifested in variation in minimum age restriction in different types of employment. The International Labor Office reports that children work the longest hours and are the worst paid of all laborers. Many studies on this domain has proven that the various factors that could contribute to the high rate of child labour are: poverty, unemployment level among parents, limited access to free education, death of parents, to mention but a few. This study therefore, seeks to examine the prevailing factors contributing to child labour and the way forward in Nigeria.
Objectives of the study
The primry objective of this study is to critically investigate the prevailing factors contributing to child labour and the way forward. Specifically, the study seeks to:
1. Examine the various factors that cause child labour in Nigeria
2. Examine the effects of child labour on the child
3. Examine the strategies of curbing child labour menace in Nigeria
The following questions guide this study:
1. What are the various factors that cause child labour in Nigeria?
2. What are the effects of child labour on the child?
3. What are the possible strategy used in curbing child labour menace in Nigeria?
Significance of the study
The study is considered significance for the following reasons.
l It will shed more light to the mental ,physical and social wellbeing of children who are victims of child labour
l The study will be of help to government agencies, non governmental organizations,and academia
l It will also serve as a guide to future researchers who may wnt to engage in similar study.
Scope of the study
This study focuses on examining the various factors that cause child labour in Nigeria. This study will also examine the effects of child labour on the child. The study will further examine the strategies of curbing child labour menace in Nigeria. This study is delimited to children resident in Ibadan north local government area.
Limitations of the study
During the course of this study, challenges encountered were that of:
l Inadequate fund: the research was faced with inadequate fund which hindered the researcher from shuttering between Ibadan west local government in Oyo State, more so, in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires.
l Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to juggle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it impossible to undertake this study in a more representative skill. However, the researcher was able to pull through these challenges to achieve the purpose of this study.
Operational definition of terms
Child: every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
Child Labour: is work that is unacceptable because the children involved are too young and should be in school, or because even though they have reached the minimum working age (usually set at 15 under domestic law), the work is harmful to the emotional, developmental and physical well-being of a person below the age of 18.