ANOTHER DIMENSION TO CHILD LABOUR: COUNSELLING IMPLICATIONS
OMONI, G. E. PhD
Institute of Education, Delta State University, Abraka email: firstname.lastname@example.org and IJEH, S. U. Mrs College of Education Agbor Abstract The issue of child labour is an acclaimed universal phenomenon. This paper examines the reason for child labour, the types, problems, consequences and possible solution strategies. Specifically, the paper critically discusses the positive aspects of child labour and how it can be properly managed to the advantage of all. By working and contributing economically, children are showing solidarity with their families. The paper concludes by suggesting and recommending ways of positively managing child labour. Such include vast grassroots information campaigns and counselling on the hazardous effects of child labour and its economic values. It also discusses the roles federal/state governments can play through public education and enforcement of the universal basic education goals; introduction of a modified school curriculum that puts the recipients of child labour into consideration; creating and supporting rehabilitation and integration programmes and the enactment of penalties and sanctions against perpetuators negative child labour. Key Words: Bonded child labour, child work, child trafficking, cultural practice, exploitation, child prostitution, rehabilitation, self-reliance.
Introduction: Child labour has been the main thrust of universal discussion over a period of time. Journalists, psychologists, sociologists, politicians, philanthropists and even literary artists have deliberated on and sought for ways of stopping this exploitative and hazardous phenomenon to no
Edo Journal of Counselling
Vol. 3, No. 1, 2010
avail. The developed, developing and under-developed countries of the world are all guilty of child labour. However, according to International Labour Organization (ILO) (1998), child labour is overwhelmingly a developing country phenomenon with Africa having the highest incidence. It further asserts that participation rates of child labour force are higher in sub-Saharan region, Nigeria inclusive. Since the period of industrial revolution, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) the author of “Oliver Twist” had the issue of child labour as his main theme. Today, the problem is still prevailing. Bequel and Boyden (1998) opine that all over the world, children are incorporated into a range of different employment relations either as wage labourers in factories or self-employed workers or are engaged in street trading. The International Labour Organization (ILO) (1998) has estimated that 250 million of the world children between the ages of five and fourteen work. Human Right Watch Publications (2000) asserts that the age of children who engage in child labour ranges from four to seventeen years old. According to Oloko (1999) an estimated 8 million Nigerian children are said to be trapped under the yoke of child labour in spite of governments‟ effort at stopping it and ensuring the education of all children. Dunapo (2002) citing Black (1993) and Ennow (1994) in Otubokun (2000) claim that children are involved in exploitative work when they are too young to do so. They further assert that the hours are too long and the work is too difficult for a small growing body. Hence Fatusi, Segun, Adeyemi and Odujinrin (2001) assert that adolescents are exploited under conditions that amount to a modern form of slavery. They rarely escape and are never in position to negotiate the conditions of their employment. Again, the International Labour Organization (ILO) (1998) estimates that the number of child labourers in Africa could surge from today‟s 80 million to over 100 million by the year 2015. This is as a result of a demographic explosion of impoverished people and inadequate levels of economic growth across Africa. According to Williams, Finke, Warren, Bazan, Walgen and Cohen (2005), work ranges from...
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