Child labor in Nigeria: A religious educational response

Francis Imeobong Ibanga, Fordham University


The phenomenon of child labor is global, and it is gradually claiming the attention of several scholars of various fields, especially in western societies, as people are becoming more conscious of the challenges and hard realities many children face. The emergence of new scholarly inquiries within the academy demonstrates a growing interest and public concern for the well being of children. Through an interdisciplinary approach that makes use of humanistic, philosophical, theological, educational, and qualitative research methodologies, this study explores the problem of child labor in the context of contemporary Nigerian society using religious education as the primary lens of analysis. The study argues that the phenomenon of child labor cannot be seen as isolated from education and poverty, and suggests a two-pronged approach for addressing the problem of child labor. First, the study focuses on the education of children. Specifically, this work names and exposes the pervasive problem of destructive child labor and hypothesizes that the attainment of education by all children will not only reduce and prevent destructive forms of child labor but will also assist in enhancing the quality of children’s lives. Second, the study explores what can be done to educate adults so that they have a fuller understanding of the developmental needs of children and the problem of child labor. Additionally, the study advocates for a collaborative effort of all actors—employers, professionals, policy makers, politicians, parents, teachers, voluntary agencies, and religious organizations and communities—to work for the well being of children. This study concludes that effective use of religious education can bring about a new vision as well as a new way of valuing and appreciating children in Nigerian society.

Subject Area

Theology|Economics|Religious education|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Ibanga, Francis Imeobong, "Child labor in Nigeria: A religious educational response" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3298793.