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1.1 Background to the Study
Street hawking is a form of selling of goods along the road from one place to
the other (Umar 2009). It could also mean an act of canvassing for sale items carried
by a hawker along the street, from house to house or in the public space (Ikechebebu
2008) Street hawking is a veritable means of socialization in the western part of
Nigeria and it is widely practiced despite the attendant moral and physical dangers
for children (Ebigbo 2003). In Nigeria, street hawking is done mostly by female
children. Children hawk different items, ranging from food to different types of non-
edible items. Some children have a particular spot where they stay to sell their wares.
Some move from place to place along the street, while others go from door to door in
residential area (Grootaert and Kanbur 1995). Child hawkers sell tray of goods on
their head by moving from one street to the other. The hawker that sell similar goods
walk different directions while those that sell goods that complement each other like
food and drinks walk in the same direction. The youngest among these hawkers are
followed by an adult child who also sells different things in order to teach the
younger ones how to calculate or protect the child against any occurrence. These
child hawkers shout on top of their voices to announce what they are selling in the
community so as to attract the attention of intending buyer of their arrival.
Street hawking is rampant among children in Ibagi Local Government,
Kogi state, Nigeria as was observed personally by the researcher. According to the
local community leader, street hawking has been in existence there for a very long
time. As the major occupation is farming and trading, during the time of trade by
barter, when a farmer’s harvests crop, he takes from the harvested crops for food
consumption. The remaining has to be traded within the neighbourhood by the wives and children, so that they will get the money needed to purchase some other things needed in the household. Due to structural change (discovery of cruel oil), currently many people are moving out of the agricultural sector and migrating to the city for a decent job. There is not much attention for farming any longer. As a consequence most households nowadays buy things for the children to hawk around the neighbourhood with their mother. By so doing, children are taught how to trade for future purposes (personal observation)
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The prevalence of child labour exist in various forms but some are clearly
visible than the other. Children are seen getting involve in different kind of
production work ranging from agriculture, manufacturing, industries and domestic
work. In Nigeria, street hawking seems to be more popular form of child labour.
Children hawk a wide range of cheap articles, edible and products such as sachet
water, vegetable, bread, slippers, newspapers, fruits to mention but few. Street
hawking is considered to be one form of child labour and exploitative because of the
excessively long hour of trading by the children, hindrance of school attendance,
effectiveness on child’s health (Ibanga 2007). Many Nigerian children are compelled
to work because of their parents’ joblessness, poor or uneducated. Ibanga study
shows that traditional custom especially polygamy contribute to poor living standard
and push children into the street due to parents giving birth to many children. Some
of the street hawking children spends the entire day and sometimes until late in the
night selling goods under harsh weather condition. These forms of economic
activities by children interfere with emotional, educational and social development of
children. There is a need to be specifically concerned about street hawking children.
As indicated by Admassie (2003), street hawking as a form of child labour is
considered as violation children’s human rights in as much as children are force to
partake in abusive, harmful and exploitative work which may affect their physical
capabilities. It deprives children of their childhood freedom, that is, their right to play
and recreate and of their natural development. Street hawking affects the educational
development of a child and is a disinvestment in human capital formation and has
negative effects on the private and social returns of a child (Admassie, 2002).
The social characteristic of household such as household income, household size,
household head literacy level, sex of the household head and his/her perception of the
relevance of child’s education for the future development will all be considered.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this research is to shed light on street hawking children in Ibagi Local Government Area of Kogi state, Nigeria and to inform policy makers on how possibly to support these children. This implies pursuit of the following:
To investigate into the conditions of street hawking children in Ibagi local government, Kogi state.
To examine the influence and decision-making patterns of children, parents and/or other caretakers or peers as regards participation of children in street hawking.
To find out about efforts made to reduce street hawking or by relevant actors
(government, NGOs, community and other).
To present the views of street hawking children on their situation and what they think will be an improvement for them.
To suggest ways to strengthen policy-intervention for street hawking children.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What are the forces that drive street hawking by children?
2. What are the working conditions for street hawking children?
3. What policies are in place to assist street hawking in Ibagi local government?
4. Are there interventions in support of street hawking children either from the government, NGOs or communities in Nigeria or elsewhere?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
1. There is no effect between street hawking and child academic performance.
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