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THE SOCIO ECONOMIC STATUS OF PARENTS AND THE TENDENCY FOR CHILD LABOUR IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background of the Study
Child labour is one of the greatest social ills facing Nigerian children today, and Africainfeneral. In recent time, there exist copious writings and researches in the area of study. (Okeinaim 1984); Omokhodion, Omokhodion and Oduste 2005; Togunde and Richardson 2006; Togunde and Carter 2008; Olawale 2009). The general findings of these researchers revolve around the fact that child labour is prevalent in Nigeria and that drastic measure is required to curb this ugly trend. Child labour exposes children. These include malnourishment which makes them susceptible to diseases, musculosketal disorders from heavy labour, physical and sexual abuse, and educational problem due to absence from lateness to school. Many factors have been studied and found to be responsible for child labour practices, for example Togunde and Carter (2008) attributed the phenomenon to several factors like globalization, population, growth, socialization and violence between the family structures.
Other studies of interest on child labour in Africa includes that of Osiruemu who considered the nature and implication of poverty of parents on child labour in Nigeria, the outcome of the study revealed a significant positive relationship between poverty of parents and child labour. The analysis of data on the occupation of parent in the social study shows their concentration on low paying jobs. The study of Togunde and Carter (2008) earlier reviewed was in support of the fact that parent engaged their children in child labour in order to agreement family income. They also found that the parent of child labourers tend to have low education, occupation and income attainments. Corroborating these findings was another study earlier conducted by Togunde and Richardson (2006) on household size and position as correlates by child labour in the rural community in Nigeria.
Household size and position of members were examine as implicating factors in child labour. The study concludes that most working children come from households with low parental socio-economic status. Other demographic variables like parent educational achievement and number of children were found to influence child practices. In a study of parental socio-economic status as correlated to child abuse and neglect in Ibadan, Nigeria. Olawale (2009) reported a significant different in the abuse and neglect of students from lower-socio-economic background than those from higher socio-economic background. He also reported a significant different in child abuse and neglect among parents of low educational status.
Child labour in Africa may indeed not be an index of poverty and under development. In the eye of an African traditional person, what in the West is called child labour is to him an opportunity to introduce the child into occupational training in early life. This may have compounded the issue of child labour and restrict researches from attributing its escalation strictly to exploitation as the reason that motivates parents to subdue their children to child labour.
Traditionally, parents often believe that the earlier such training commences the better for the child. Hence parents introduce their children to a chosen carrier early in owing this reason; it will not be an unusual sight to see a five year old weaver, depending on the type of parents’ choice of profession.
Meanwhile, this does not reflect the perspective of the urban and the western parents who believe in and practice the century. This has therefore made the issue of child labour rather a global phenomenon which has attracted the attention of important world bodies such as UNICEF and ILO. These international bodies kicked against child labour.
Given the above background the study to ascertain the influence of the socio-economic status of parents and the tendency for child labour in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In the last twenty years numerous efforts have been made at a global level to ensure that children are protected from work that harms their development much of those work have rallied heavily on information gathered at the local national level, with all these effort made by the international and national bodies, not only to minimize child labour but to totally eradicate it. It seem such effort is not gaining ground in some urban community as there still exist evidence of child labour in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State.
This ugly discovery constitutes the inspiration go this study which among other things is poised to critically examine the problems of child labour with a view to exploring possible solution to the social malady in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of the study was to critically examine the manifestation of child labour in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State.
Other subsidiary objectives include the following:
1. To examine the extent of child labour and the nature of children work
2. To access the socio-economic conditions of these families whose children are involved in child labour.
3. To identify the socio-cultural factors responsible for child labour in African family setting.
1.4 Significance of Study
The study of this kind will help to educate parents on the ills of child labour. A study of this kind could generate useful information to international and national bodies whose aim to eradicate child labour. Then, the benefit of this work to academy community will be seen when future researchers shall review this work as part of literature review in the study area.