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This study examined child labour in Edo State with focus on Benin City. This was examined on their everyday activities on the major streets and especially in the social-cultural settings in which they grew up. Oral interviews were conducted on children randomly drawn from two (2) Local Governments’ Areas in Benin City, (i.e. Oredo and Ikpoba Okha) as the sample for the study. The total number of children in the two (2) Local Government were thirty six (36) five (5) experts and adults were also interviewed. The names of the markets are Oliha market in Oredo Local Government and Oka Market in Ikpoba Okha Local Government. The research instrument used as an unstructured interview. The questions sought personal data such as name, age, home address, school etc. it also examined various aspects of the children. The findings show that many of the children suffer a lot of hardship in order to survive. The findings further reveal that majority of the children engage in hawking on the major roads, working as bus conductors, as “any work” and pushing wheel barrows I the market places.


Chapter one      


Background of the study

Research question

Purpose of study

Significance of the study

Scope of study

Limitation of the study

Definition of terms

Chapter two      

Literature review


Chapter three   


Population of the study

Sampling techniques

Research instrument

Validity of instrument

Procedure for data collection

Method of data analysis

Chapter four     

Analysis of data

Chapter five     

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

Suggestion for further research






A case of child labour in societies today is not a new phenomenon as some might have argued. According to a school of thought, child labour is not alien to our cultural values. It is part of our traditional culture whereby a child is expected to help the parents in augmenting the meager income or resources by selling or hawking farm produce like pepper, tomatoes, okro, vegetables etc on the street or in the nieighbourhood. This practice is to train child, the ability to be self sufficient and helping in giving him courage to face future challenges in marriage either as a woman or man (Adamson, 1993).

Even though this line of argument is not generally acceptable among the scholar, it was however acknowledge that child labour if there has been any benefit derived by the child morally, has become a monster threatening the lives of this vulnerable, Nigerian child in the contemporary time of ours (Bouhdiba, 1982). Increased incidences of child labour in urban and metropolitan cities across Nigerian in recent times has received a lot of attention from the press, Non-governmental organization (NGO) poets, musicians, visual artist and researcher in our higher institution of learning. One of the major factors responsible for the increase according to Gwon (1991) is the distmalling of the traditional culture which by extended family system regards child care as a community responsibility but has been destroyed by capitalistic culture or orientation of our modern times. In Benin City a capital of Edo State, child labour has significantly increased from insignificantly number, it was soe years back to a worrisome state which deserves a drastic and urgent attention from all the stakeholders in child development – the parents, government and the society. Though there are no statistical figures to backup the increase, the number of children seen daily on the streets in Benin metropolis as petty hawkers, touts, bus conductors, car washers, wheel barrow pushers etc is a clear indication that the menace of child labour is gradually becoming a complex and intricate problem. It is on this basic that this project will attempt to study the daily life of children in Benin City and the traumatic experiences they pass through daily.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the daily harrowing life experiences of the children on the street of Benin City trying to eke out a living. This study was also carried out to know the extent the environment, which the children lives contributed to his predicament in terms of his psychological and personality development. It is a known fact that most parents has adjusted their responsibilities to the children hence they took the streets to fend for themselves.

This study hoped to bring to the force the health hazards inherent in this act thereby enlighten the parents not to just bring the children but also make appropriates provision for their well being. Finally, the study hoped to assist the appropriate authority responsible for children welfare, to see to it that most of the identified problems are addressed thereby making the child truly a future leader responsible and capable of occupying the position the future has for him.


Child labour is common in most part of the state capital Benin City which comprises three (3) Local Government Areas. But for the purpose of this project, two (2) Local Government Areas namely; Oredo and Ikpoba Okha Local government Area will be focused on, due to its prevalence in these areas.


Child they say are the hope of tomorrow. It is therefore important and necessary to engage in efforts that will enhance their well being by drawing to their present predicaments; thereby helping the government to form formulates policies that will protect the rights of these weak members of the society in order to guarantee a better future.

This project will go a long way in creating awareness among the populace of the needs to take adequate care of their children and expose the danger inherent in the works these children engaged in. it will also help in changing the perspective of some of the parent who believed that nothing is wrong in child labour since they are in support of the family or train the child to be independent.

Equally too, it will go a long way in documenting the types of child labour prevalent in Benin City and help the child welfare ministry to find appropriates solutions that will discourage the children in engaging in this act. Finally, it will serve as a document for future researchers who might be interested in the activities of the children in Benin City or other parts of the state.


Abuse: Any violation of a child’s right or anything contrary to what principals of 417 and 9 of the undeclaration of 1`959 on children is more or less child abuse.

Any Work: A slang given to children running errands in the University Benin Campus for gratification.

Conductor: A person who calls for the passengers and collect fares on bus.

Networking: Is a process of fishing out organizations working in any area of child abuse and neglect and child welfare and linking up one another. Data is also provided to needful organizations in terms of opportunities, seminars source of funds and what areas are open for new initiatives for the promotions of the rights of children.

Pidgin: An English variant widely spoken among Nigerians, especially I the southern part of the country.

Tukituki: A ten seater commuters bus used as a means of transportation in Benin City.

Under Age: refers to a person under the age of fourteen (14) years or person who has attained the age of fourteen (1`4) years and is under the age of eighteen (18) years.

Union Dues: It is a daily contribution pay by the drivers to the various association controlling the motor park and the local government authority.

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