The major Law that governs Child Labour in Nigeria is the Child’s Right Act 2003

Other laws include; the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, The Children and Young Persons’ Act, among others.


The term ‘Child’ has been defined in several laws. It has been defined in various terms to adjust to areas for which a purpose is served. For Instance, Section 29(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) defines a child as any person under the age of 18 years. The Children and Young Person’s Act, Section 9 defined a child as a person under the age of 14 years and a young person to mean “a person who has attained the age of 14 years and is under the age of 17 years. Lastly, The Child’s Right Act (2003) defined children as any person under the age of 18.

On the other hand, Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful.

I recently became acquaintance with a 15-year-old graduate, who is job hunting. A question that comes to mind, in line with the above definitions of child and child labour, is whether such a 15-year-old can still be considered a child who, under the law, isn’t required to work until she clocks 18 years.

That is, if this 15-year-old graduate acquaintance of mine gets a job, will it be considered child labour?

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