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Effect of Child labour in Nigeria

Effect of Child labour in Nigeria



       Child labour refers to any work or activity that derives children of their childhood, broadly any child who is employed in activities to feed self and family is being subjected to child labour, during the industrial revolution, children as young as four were employed in production factories with dangerous, and often fatal, working conditions.

       Child labour is still common in some parts of the world, it can be factory work, mining, prostitution, quarrying, agriculture, helping in the parents business, having one’s own small business (for example selling of food) or doing odd jobs. Some children work as guides for tourists, sometimes combined with binging in business for shops and restaurants (where they may also work has waiters) other children are forced to do tedious and repetitive jobs such as assembling boxes, polishing shoes, stocking a store’s products, or cleaning. However, rather then in factories and sweatshops, most child labour occurs in the informal sector “selling many things on the streets of work in agriculture or hidden away in houses-far from the reach of official labour inspectors and media scruting.

       According to UNICEF (2006) there are an estimated 250 million children aged 5 to 14 in child labour world wide, excluding child domestic labour. The United Nations and international labour exploitative with the UN stipulating, in article 23 of the convention on the right of the child that;

       “States parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

       Child labour accounts for 22% of the workforce in Asia, 32% in Africa, 17% in Latin America, 1% in US, Canada, Europe and other wealthy nations. The proportion of child labourers varies greatly among countries and even regions inside those countries.

       The international labour organizations international programme on the elimination of child labour (IPEC) founded in 1992, aims to eliminates child labour. It operates in 88 countries and is the largest program of its kind in the world. IPEC works with international and government agencies, NGOs, the media and children and their families to and child labour and provide children with education and assistance. In many developed countries it is considered inappropriate in exploitative if a child below a certain age works (excluding house hold chores, in a family shop or school related work). An employ or is usually not permitted to hire a child below a certain minimum age. this minimum age depends on the country and the type of work involved. States identifying the minimum age convention adopted by the international labour organization in 1973, have adopted ages varying from 14 to 16. Child labour laws in the United States set the minimum age to work in an establishment without restrictions and without parents consent at age 16, except for the agricultural industry where children as young as 12 years of age can work in the fields for an unlimited number of non- school hours. In Nigeria children under the age of 14 years are not allowed to take up paid employment.

       Child labour remains a major source of concern in Nigeria, in spite of legislative measures. According to the international/ labour organization, the number of working children under the age of 14 in Nigeria is estimated at 15 million.

In Nigeria today it is common to see children who are street vendors, beggars, car washers, or watchers and shoeshine. Others work as apprentice mechanics, hairdresress and bus conductors while a large number work as domestic servants and farm lands.

       Anambra State in general and Awka urban in particular the story is the same this goes to support the notion that child labour in developing countries is prevalent in urban centres. Many factors have been induced to be the causes of child labour all over world which include widespread poverty, rapid urbanization. Breakdown in extended family affiliations, high schools drop out rates, and lack of forcement of legal instruments to protect children.

       In this study, the research is going to critically examine those factors that lead to child labour in Nigeria its effects and possible solution with a particular reference to Awka Urban, Anambra State.


       It is worrisome that children of school age in Nigeria engage in one form of paid labour or the other. there has been a blatant abuse of human child right in Nigeria in general and Anambra State in particular. This is not a welcome development (child labour in Nigeria is caused by many factors which include wide spread poverty, rapid urbanization, breakdown in extended family affiliations, high school drop out rates, and lack of enforcement of legal instruments meant to protect children.

       The difficulty of tasks and harsh working conditions create a number of problems such as premature ageing, malnutrition depression, drug dependency etc from disadvantaged backgrounds, minority groups or abducted from their families these children have no protection. The employers do whatever necessary to make them completely invisible and are they able to exercise an absolute control over them. these children works in degrading conditions, undermining all the principles and fundamental rights based in human nature. Additionally a child who works will not be able to have a normal education and will be doomed to become an illiterate adult, having no possibility to grow in his or her professional and social life.

       Child labour also endangers a child’s dignity and morals, especially when several exploitation is involved, such as prostitution and child pornography.


(a) There is a significant relationship between child labour and crime rate in Nigeria.

­ ­(b) The ­­­ ­ increase in child labour in Nigeria is as a result of poverty.

(c ) There is a significant relationship between child labour and juvenile sexual abuse.

(d) There is a significant relationship between child labour and illiteracy in Nigeria.


       Some key terms are defined in this section to reduce ambiguity. The definitions are as they apply to the study.

(A) Child: Some body who is not yet an adult in this study it refers to children who are under the age of 14 years.

(B) Child Abuse: This is the physical, sexual emotional mistreatment, or Neglect of child.

(C) Child Abour: This means the employment of children at regular and sustained labour.

(D) Factor Acts: Factory Acts were a series at Acts passed by parliament of the United kingdom to limit the number of hours worked by women and children first in textile industry, then later in all industries.

(E) Child Rights Acts: This is a human rights treating setting out the unit, political, economic, sciences, health and cultural right of children.

(F) Labour: Work, especially physical work.

(G) Juvenile sexual Abuse: Juvenile sexual abuse or child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or order adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation.

(H) Poverty: Poverty in the context of this work is lack of material wellbeing. Inability of parents to adequately take care of their children.

(I) Silvery: This is a system under which people are treated as property and are forced to work. many children in Nigeria are subjected to one force labour or the other. Sometime parents sale out their children to foreigners.

(J) Social effect: Relating to human society and its organization on qualities consequences of something on the people lives. Here we mean the consequences of child labour on the child and their parents and society at large.

(K) Urbanization: This means the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change.

(L) Sub- continent of Africa: A large area of land or countries that area part of the continent of Africa. Furthermore, a child who works will be more exposed to malnutrition. These children who work also suffer, from fatique, irregular attendance of school, talk of comprehension and motivation, improper socialization exposure to risk of sexual abuse high like hood of being involved in crime.

       A part from working for employers, most children are equally subjected to labour at their various homes. One of the contexts is an family where children are engaged in all feditious domestic activities and services. These children may also work in farms, sell or hawk to earn money for their family.

       Another context is in the family where children for little or nor income from their parents relations especially from their guardians even though be employed in the formal wage sector, which include, the restaurants, textiles industries, house maids for wages, project sites, and agricultural activities. A part from being paid exploitative wages in this context, they may be subjected to demands and conditions that exceed their pay children who are pamper or orphans offer themselves as motor conductors, motor pack touts, as public entertainers and in other establishments where they are exposed to dangers.

       Other children labour and abuse contexts include childe trafficking, child prostitution and sexual harassment of children and mutilation, the use of children by handicapped adults as guilden during street beggaing child starring as punishment, make preference to the female child which leads to discrimination against the girl child and origin for sacrifice or ritual.

       All these affect adversely the socio- political and economic development of nation especially when viewed from the fact that these children were abuse today are the leaders of tomorrow.

       Abuse of children and child labour expose children to crime and there by increase the rate of juvenile delinquency some of them have taking to excessive smoking and intake of alcoholic, some to become transtrate in life. These children get early and unwanted pregnancy which make them experience social stigmatization. Most of them end up giving birth to bastards and constitute nuisance to their families. Most do not respect their parents again since they fend for themselves. It is in the height of these social problems that this study becomes imperative.


(1) What factors account for child labour in Nigeria?

(2) Is there any significant relationship between child labour and crime rate in Anambra State in General and Awka urban in particular?

(3) Is there any significant relationship between child labour and poverty?

(4) Is there any significant relationship between child labour and juvenile sexual abuse?

(5) Is there any significant relationship between child labour and literacy in Nigeria?


(1) To find if there is any significant relationship between child labour and crime rate in Nigeria in general and Awka urban in particular.

(2) To find out if there is any significant relationship between child labour and poverty in Nigeria.

(3) To ascertain whether there is any significant relationship between child labour and juvenile sexual abuse.

(4) To ascertain whether there is any significant relationship between child labour and illiteracy in Nigeria.


       This research work seeks to identify and proffer workable solution to the most cases of child labour and its harmful social effect in Nigeria with emphasis on African child right movement which will be combined with other enforced legislations that protect children against all forms of economic exploitation and seeing them right to basic and compulsory education.

       This study will add to the already existing literature on child labour and its causes and consequences. It will equally create an opportunities for students who will carry our further researches on related topics. Again, both scholars and want will find this study a veritable reference material for their studies on menace of child labour in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.

       The public will through this study be more educated on the social views that result from child labour and appreciate the importance of child’s education.

       Government will through this work develop effective and sustainable strategies to eradicate harmful practices of child abuse and give every child of Nigeria his rightful position in the society.

       The policy makes will through this study appreciate the more the importance at Childs right Act and strive to strengthen its implementation to better the lives of Nigeria children.


       The study centered on causes and effect of child labour with a specific focus on Awka urban, Anambra state. The study was conducted in Awka Matropolis market.

      Awka metropolis has two local government Awka South and North with population of about 30, 657 (2006censu) people in which majority of the population are children between the age (0-15) years.

       Awka the state capital was chosen because of the diversity of people from different local governments and other states residing in its.


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