The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has condemned the use of children as labourers by employers of labour and warned that his administration will not accept any form of exploitation of children in the state.
Obaseki gave the warning on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, marked by the United Nations each year.
While acknowledging the influx of companies into the state, with the state government’s reinvigorated efforts at creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, the governor maintained that his administration will not be home to obnoxious labour practices such as the recruitment of children to work.
“We are committed to equipping our children with quality education for a prosperous future. We have robust laws and policies that guarantee the rights of children in the state and will activate these laws and policies in the event that children are being exploited or abused anywhere in the state,” he said.
The governor urged Edo people and residents to report any case of exploitation of children to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution as the state government has sensitised the enforcement agencies to treat such cases with dispatch.
He further warned that forced labour and human trafficking have no place in the emerging Edo State, and advised parents, guardians and caregivers to be alive to their responsibilities of educating their children.
“The International Labour Organisation in 2002 launched the day to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Each year in June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them,” the UN body said.