Abimbola Abatta, Osogbo
To address the menace of child labour and restore traditional family values, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has been charged to set up a Failed Parents’ Tribunal.
Osun State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, gave the charge on Monday while declaring open a four-day step-down training on the elimination of child labour for staff of NOA and media professionals in Osogbo.
Egbemode also charged media professionals to refocus their agenda setting responsibility towards the problem by calling the society’s consciousness to our collapsed family values.
She said the government is committed to abolishing the practice of child labour in the society, especially across the agricultural and mining sector.
“Villages, towns, communities and even nations fail first from the home. Regardless of the terminologies we have adopted to describe them, the ills in our society are a failure of parenting.
“We all must work together to focus on what the actual problems are, and it begins with everyone of us. We are in a lot of trouble that didn’t start and won’t end with child labour. These failures are not what we lay at the doorsteps of the government.
“Of course, we can issue a statement from the government banning child labour, we can push for the National Assembly to pass a law making it a capital offence to use children for labour; but the question that follows is that how exactly will one more law among several others change the attitude of people?
“The National Orientation Agency really needs to consider setting up a failed parents tribunal. Some parents are as bad as bandits, and what they inflict on the society is what we are grappling with in different sectors and spheres of our social life.
“The purpose of the tribunal will be to educate such parents with sufficient illustrations and visual materials on the implications of reckless handling of children, who are expected to assume leadership in the society in a few years.
“For the media, let us pay more attention to parenting columns and issues, and less attention to interviews and breaking news about politicians.
“We need to do better by setting agenda and reporting stories that show that the system has failed because family values collapsed,” Egbemode said.