NGOs advocate protection for child domestic workers – Guardian Nigeria

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A consortium of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) has stressed the need for advocacy towards the increased awareness and protection of child domestic workers.

The Street Project Foundation (SPF), in collaboration with the Child Protection Network, United States Department of State the Freedom Fund, Devatop Centre for Africa Development and Centre for the Advancement and Protection of the Rights of Vulnerable People (Caprights-Vp), stressed the urgent need for policies and measures that would ensure the safety, well-being, and rights of children employed in domestic settings.

Founder and Lead Visionary, SPF, Rita Ezenwa-Okoro, said that child domestic workers are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and neglect. She noted that despite existing laws and regulations, many children continue to work in hazardous conditions without adequate protection or access to education and healthcare.

Ezenwa-Okoro said the project by her foundation aimed to put light on this menace to bring about meaningful and positive change with more equitable future for all children in the country.

She stressed that when child’s domestic work becomes exploitative, rights of the children have been violated. She, therefore, urged everyone to be more concerned about child’s protection.

“Through our ARTvocacy campaign, we selected 25 talented individuals from the Oworonshoki community for a three-week non-residential boot camp, where they were trained by experts and created a theatre production titled ‘Omo Odo’,” she said.

Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Labour, Khadijat Emmanuel, said that formalising the employment of domestic workers would curb the harm as the increase in exploitation is due to informal employment.

She added that it is compulsory for a child to be educated on the number of hours he or she can work in a day. National Coordinator, Child Protection Network Nigeria, Olakunle Sanni, has called for the amendment of the Labour Act, noting that the current penalty of a N50,000 fine is not severe.

Sanni, who said that the law doesn’t support having a child less than 18 years as domestic worker, urged the media to consider the principle of ensuring the child’s best interest, principle of do no harm, privacy while reporting to avoid stigmatisation and risk addition.

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