Demographic and Socio-Economic Consequences of Child Labour

Filed in Articles by on August 3, 2021

Demographic and Socio-Economic Consequences of Child Labour.


Child labour participation is inimical, contrary to the Rights of the Child, and threatens holistic child development, the families, State and the nation at large. This study assesses the demographic and socio-economic consequences of child labour in Anambra State, Nigeria.

The objectives were to examine the type of work engaged in by the children, determine the factors responsible for child labour practices, identify the condition of work, assess the demographic and socio-economic consequences of child labour and lastly ascertain the specific possible impact of child labour on the future workforce in the state.

A purposive sampling technique was used to select the sampled areas in the study area as well as the respondents. A total of 400 children aged between 04-17 years, who are involved in laborious activities were administered a structured questionnaire to collect data. In addition, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was also conducted to
gather information from child labourers employers. The data were analysed using the computer SPSSsoftware 19 version. The results are presented using tables and chats.

The results indicated that53.0% of the child labourers are males, child labour participation is found to be higher among older children aged 11-17 years than those aged 4-10.

More than half of child labourers are from a large household size of 5-9 persons. Out of the entire child labourers, 42.5% are indigenes of Anambra State and 35.0% from Ebonyi State, while the remaining hails from the other surrounding States.

The educational status of child labourers shows that 56.5% are in school, while 43.5% are out of school, public school children are the most affected as 77.0% are in public schools, with 66.0% in primary school levels.

Out of the entire sampled respondent, 174 (43.5%) are out of school, out of which 95.4% dropped out from school, while 4.6% have never been to school before. The poverty of parents accounted for the major reasons for child‟s school dropouts. About 73.5% of the child labourers work between 4-6 days a week.


According to the Child Right’s Act 2003, passed into law in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, a child is a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years. On the other hand, labour according to the Macmillan dictionary connotes the aggregate of all human physical and mental effort used in the creation of goods and services.

Put together, the concept of Child Labour has probably been in existence almost as long as the history of mankind and connotes all economic activities carried out by children regardless of their occupational status (Oloko, 1997).

It includes both works that are permissible under the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) conventions and those that which is not (International Labour Organization-International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour) (ILO-IPEC, 2002).

According to United Nation Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) (2007), Child labour is essentially understood as encompassing monetary or non-monetary activities which are mentally or physically, morally or socially hazardous for children below 15 years.

Across countries and societies, various forms of child labour exist these forms range from trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, child domestic labour and illicit activities.

Other forms include street hawking, waste pickers, company labourers, apprentices, babysitting, barrow pushers and commercial drivers/ conductors/ touts, water vendors, farmworkers, housemaids, gardeners, cleaners, and other artisans.


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