BY: OYENITUN RASHEEDAH A.

Millions of children in today’s world undergo the worst forms of child labour which includes child slavery, child prostitution, child trafficking and child soldiers.

In this modern era of material and technological advancement, children in almost every country are callously exploited.

With an estimation of 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous occupations throughout the world; Nigeria is one of the countries facing child labour under the age of 14 in the world.

Although, poverty is often cited as the underlying cause of child labour, other factors such as discrimination, social exclusion, lack of quality education, existing parents’ attitudes and perceptions about child labour as well as the role and value of education.

In most Northern states 60 per cent or more girls drop out of school before completing primary education due to Sharia Law, which lends credence to early child marriage.

According to a friend Fatima Abdullahi, a Junior Secondary School Student of Al-Kawthar Model College already fashioned her mind that she would be getting married at the completion of her Junior Secondary School. According to her, she was supposed to have gotten married at the age of 9, but her father wanted her to acquire formal education to primary level.

 According to her, a female child is only allowed to see her menstrual flow only for two years in her father’s house and the third year in her husband’s house. This is the obvious reason for the rising trend of early marriages in the north.

The federal government must defend the rights of the child and ensure that early marriage is brought to an end.

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