IHRC and FRSC Collaborate to Tackle Child Labour on Nigerian Highways, Seek Further Collaboration

Abuja: The Special Monitoring Mission of the International Human Rights Commission (SMM IHRC) and the Nigeria Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) held discussions on the ripple effects of child labour occurring on Nigerian highways. These violations range from exploitation, abuse, and violence. The purpose of the meeting was to explore collaboration opportunities to address this menace.

IHRC and FRSC team in a group photograph

The discussion took place during a courtesy visit of the International Human Rights Commission Special Monitoring Mission Officials to the FRSC Corps Marshal at the National Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.

The SMM Officials, led by the National Coordinator, Comrade Elijah Vitus Echendu, stated that in line with the theme of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour, “Social Justice for All – End Child Labour,” and the objectives of the IHRC, which focus on the protection of human rights and upholding the dignity of individuals worldwide, IHRC seeks a partnership with the FRSC. The partnership will revolve around advocacy, support, training, mitigation strategies, rescue operations, participation in traffic control, and enforcement to promote greater social justice in the fight against child labour.

Comrade Echendu mentioned that the United Nations, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), has warned that without mitigating strategies, there could be an exponential increase in the number of children engaged in child labour, which would have significant implications for the future.

He added that child labour, such as hawking and other forms of modern slavery on Nigerian highways, are identified gaps that require concerted efforts from all stakeholders to develop monitoring infrastructure. This infrastructure will help determine and measure the magnitude, transportation, dimensions, and characteristics of child labour on national and state roads in Nigeria.

“We are very optimistic about the credibility of the technical support and mitigation strategies that will emerge from our partnerships and how they can enhance the conduct of road marshals in responding to issues of child labour while carrying out their duties,” he maintained.

In response, the Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu, FCNA, CPA, represented by ACM Pauline P. Olaye, commended the Special Monitoring Mission of the International Human Rights Commission. She noted that the FRSC has been working on advocacy programs for schools, churches, mosques, and marketplaces to raise awareness among people about these issues, including child labour.

She also urged the IHRC to focus its sensitization programs in places such as schools and churches, where children can be educated from an early age.

Meanwhile, both groups emphasized the establishment of the Human Rights Desk at the FRSC and the Special Marshal Unit at the IHRC, as well as the training of FRSC personnel on Human Rights Perspectives by the IHRC.

Other SMM Officials present at the meeting were Fidelis Onakpoma, Head of Media and Strategic Communications IHRC Nigeria; Comrade Adèoye David, Zonal Volunteers Coordinator, Abuja; Comrade Odion Ikyo, Assistant Zonal Volunteers Coordinator, Abuja; Comrade Nnamdi Christian from the ICT Department; Comrade Devine Erochukwu, Social Welfare; and Oseghale Marian O.

Reported by: Fidelis Onakpoma Head, Media and Strategic Communications, IHRC Nigeria July 11th, 2023

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