The Anti-child Labour Taskforce in Delta state has arrested 23 children hawking during school hours in different parts of Asaba, and its environments.
Special Adviser on Child Labour to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Bridget Anyanfulu, who led the operations, confirmed to our reporter that the state government was poised to intensify its clamp down on children hawking during school hours, and to prosecute offenders, adding that “the arrested children were found selling pure water, others, but were later released to their parents”.
Investigation revealed that child-hawker business booms in Asaba and its environments, especially at Ibusa Junction around Nnebisi road, and the popular Ogbeogono Market during school hours.
But some of the child-hawkers, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, said: “We sell pure water to ensure our feeding, if we don’t sell pure water, we can’t feed, our parents have no job to feed us, or pay our school fees, we need to be doing it.”
The leader of the operations, Anyanfulu, noted that the monitoring taskforce set up by Governor Okowa was given the mandate to ensure full implemention of the Child’s Right Law in the state, disclosing that the state would soon begin a tour of private children’s homes in the state to ensure that they provide a conducive environment for the children.
Anyanfulu added that the Delta state government is determined in “this fight against child labour, the essence of the arrest is to sensitize parents against child labour, and also to issue a warning that any child caught Hawking during school hours will be arrested, an send to jail “
Anyanfulu, however cautioned guardians against sending only their children to school, while their house helps are sent to hawk.