Punishment for Child Labour in Nigeria will be explicated in this article. This is to caution you or anybody that may consider getting in this act.
Child labour, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), is defined as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, and that is harmful t to physical and mental development.”
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ILO believes that for an activity to be classified as child labour, it should be deemed harmful and dangerous to children’s mental, physical, moral, and social health.
If the work you assign to children interferes with their schooling, either because it denies them the opportunity to attend school, it obliges them to leave school prematurely, or it requires them to combine school with excessively long and heavy work.
Some families keep their children away from school to help them with farm work. Others are sent to hawk during school hours.
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Some children do not have time to do other things at home after school; they have to help out parents and other caretakers in their business.
In other instances, children have been separated from their families and put in enslaving conditions where they are exposed to health and physical hazards and often left without proper guidance.
In Nigeria, the government through the constitution has defined punishments and penalties for individuals and organizations that use child labour.
The Child Rights Act of 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 fine not exceeding ₦500,000 (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.
Similarly, any individual who at the time of crime served a convicted corporate body as a chief executive officer, director, manager, supervisor, or agent of the corporate body shall be considered an accomplice and shall be made to pay a penalty of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (200,000).
The Nigerian constitution also prohibits the following:
- Buying, selling, hiring, disposing of, obtaining, or dealing in children as merchandise;
- Contracting children to beg for alms, to guide alms beggars, for prostitution work, for domestic and sexual labour, or any other illegitimate and immoral purposes;
- Enslaving a child for debt bondage, serfdom, forced and compulsory labour;
- Contracting children to hawk goods and services on city streets, highways, and brothels;
- Depriving a child the opportunity to attend and remain in school;
- Procuring a child for prostitution and the production of pornographic materials; and
- Contracting a child for drug trafficking.
Punishment for Child Labour in Nigeria
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See the Punishment for Child Labour in Nigeria below:
Any person found guilty of the above listed shall be imprisoned when convicted for a term of 10 years.
Also, a person who employs a child for profitable criminal labour shall be imprisoned for a term of 14 years.