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Child Labour: Osun Government Vows To Deal With Those Found Wanton

Osun State Government under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has issued a stern warning to those fond of using children to collect alms.

This is in reaction to the latest trend in the state especially in Osogbo, the State capital, where some individuals from neighboring towns, bring underage to to hawk on the Streets and collect alms.

In a release signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa and obtained by Amiloaded correspondent, the State Government described the act as a clear evidence of child abuse.

According to the release, "It has come to the notice of the State Government of Osun that some individuals are bringing underage children from the neighbouring towns and communities to Osogbo, the state capital, to hawk on the street and collect alms.

"The Government has it on good authority that these children are usually brought to Osogbo in the morning and taken back to their various communities at evening time after they might hawked and collected alms for the impious individuals that brought them. This is a clear evidence of child abuse!

"We strongly warn against this criminal and heinous practice that is fast becoming rampant in the state. The government considered it unreasonable, insensitive and outright disregard to the dignity and rights of the children for their parents to release them or put them on the streets of Osogbo to hawk at a time when ritual killings and kidnapping is on the rise. It is not even safe for the lily-livered to hawk on the streets where we have heavy vehicular movement where they can be easily knocked down on the roads."

The Government thereby warned those in the "barbaric practise" as it termed it, to desist from the act or face the full wrath of the law.

"The government sternly called on these set of un-caring parents, guardians and selfish individuals to desist from the uncivilized and barbaric practice.

"As a government, we have put in place necessary laws to prevent child labour and street hawking, and we have equally domesticated the Child Rights Law.

"Also, the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act is in existence. All these laws will be brought to bear full weights on the violators and offenders.

"The government is making frantic effort to make sure that people are aware of the laws through various awareness programme and public enlightenments. We urged the security agencies in the state not to leave any stone unturned in ensuring that the violators of the laws are apprehended and brought to justice.

"Children are regarded as an important element of development. Therefore, their welfare in the society is an index of social and economic development of that society." the release reads in part.

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