An Assessment of Socio-economic Determinants of Child Labour in Kano State Nigeria



1.1 Background of the study

A child is the wellspring of man’s and his community’s revitalization. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously enacted the Declaration on the Rights of the Child in 1959, stating that mankind owes the child the best that it has to offer and that every child is entitled to protection in the early years (adequate health care, food and social service and preparing for later years without respect to social status, sex, race and so on). The United Nation convention and Africa’s charter define a child as every human below the age of fourteen years old. Children are the most vulnerable members of the human species, and they are the most vulnerable to abuse in society.The statement by no means dismisses society’s multifaceted efforts to protect children.There are still various forms of child labor in society, and child duties should be distinguished from child labor.Child duty is work in which the primary emphasis is on learning, training or socialization, while on the hand child labour is work essentially exploitative and injurious to the physical, social, cognitive, and moral development of a child.

In recent years, the opposite has been true, as child labor has taken a toll, particularly in developing countries.Child labor is the exploitation of children’s energy and potential at work rather than giving them a proper opportunity to study. The term child labor is a relative term and different cultures and societies define it differently. Child labor is the employment of children when they are too young to work for wages or when they are employed in jobs that are unsuitable or unsafe. Child labor is any work for children that interferes with their full physical development, their opportunities for a desirable education or their needed recreation.

Child labor is affecting the course of development in the entire world and is a major problem faced by the global community now. The international labour organization estimates that there are around 250 million children working all over the world. At least 120 million children aged 5 to 14 work full-time, either as street hawkers or as commercial house help.One third of them do dangerous work (ILO/IPEC 2016). According to ILO estimate more than 73 million children in age group 10-14 years alone were economically active around the world in.As a result, researchers are left wondering about the sole cause of child labor.Most researchers have posited that one of the major factors promoting child labour is tied to socioeconomic factors such as poverty, parents’ level of education and income status, parents’ joblessness and parents’ subordination to masters. Hence, their children are given to bonded labour.

1.2 Statement of the problem

It is generally believed that the extent of child labour differs in various families and societies due to the high cost of living. One equally wonders whether the need for extra income in the family often causes many parents or guardians to send their children to earn a living outside the home. There are different socio-economic factors which are responsible for its spread and prevalence. These factors include poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, lack of family planning, dis-satisfaction with the education system, the absence of social security, and many others. Child labour affects the child mentally, physically, socially, morally and exposes the child to dangerous and harmful situations. More importantly, it interferes with their education by denying them the opportunity to attend school, forcing them to leave school early, or requiring them to combine attendance with excessively large and heavy work.Child labour robs children of their interest in learning and this contributes to the low literacy rate and low academic achievement in Nigeria. Therefore, it is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the socio-economic determinants of child labour in Kano State, Nigeria.

1.3 Objective of the study

The main focus of this study is to examine the socio-economic determinants of child labour in Kano State, Nigeria. The study specifically seeks to:

  1. To investigate people’s perceptions of child labor in Kano State.
  2. To look into the socioeconomic factors that contribute to child labor in Kano State.
  3. To investigate the negative effects of child labor on children.

1.4 Research hypotheses

The research is guided by the following hypothesis.

HO1: Family income and poverty are not factors influencing child labor.

HO2: Parent literacy levels and dis-satisfaction with the education system are not determinant factors in child labour.

HO3: Child labour does not have any significant effect on children.

1.5 Significance of the study

The importance of this study is that it sheds light on the need for the government to recognize and protect a child’s rights, particularly by empowering parents of children from low-income families and developing policies that make education free or relatively affordable.It is also very important that this research will put in place corrective programmes which are aimed at enlightening, encouraging and educating the masses on the need to refrain from child labour or situations that promote it. Moreover, this study will add to the existing body of knowledge and serve as a reference material for both students and researchers who wish to conduct research in related fields of study.

1.6       Scope of the study

The scope of this study borders on the socio-economic determinants of child labour. The study is however limited to selected local government in Kano State.

1.7       Limitation of the study

The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research.

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8       Definition of terms

Child: A child is every human being below the age of fourteen years.

Labour: Hard physical work.

Child labour: This refers to hard physical work or employment of children below adult age.

Socioeconomic:Socioeconomic is the reaction of  how social and economic activity interact in order to shape the masses. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their local or regional economy, or the global economy.Socio-economic factors include occupation, education, income, wealth and where someone lives.



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