Ministry wants schools in mining communities to curb child labour

The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development have called for the establishment of schools in mining communities, to curb child labour in mines and quarries.

Director, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Department in the ministry, Mr. Obiora Azubike, made the call in Gusau on Wednesday at a one-day Road Show Awareness Campaign on Elimination of Child Labour in Mines and Quarries.

Azubike, who was represented by the Desk Officer (Child labour) in the ministry, Mrs. Hassana Sha’aba, said that the major factor responsible for child labour in the mining areas was poverty.

“At all the mining sites visited across the country, the parents and children explained that poverty was the main reason for the children engaging in mining and quarrying,’’ he said.

He said that social discrimination was another factor responsible for child labour in the country adding that involvement of children in mining and quarrying activities was a setback as the number of school drop-outs had been increasing.

“This situation has deprived children of the right to education. The parents tend to consider their children’s work as a social asset.

“Part of the complaints by the children is that the schools are sited far away from their communities,” Azubike said.

He said that international practices prohibited children from mining and quarrying activities and that the trend was hazardous and was causing the children to suffer from all manner of diseases.

He appealed to the parents in the country to stop allowing their children to go into menial employments, saying that it was harmful.

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