Forced Labour

Prohibition on Forced and Compulsory Labour

Constitution of Nigeria prohibits forced and compulsory labour in the country. Forced and compulsory labour excludes any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court; any labour required of members of the armed forces of the Federation or the Nigeria Police Force in pursuance of their duties as such; in the case of persons who have conscientious objections to service in the armed forces of the Federation, any labour required instead of such service; any labour required which is reasonably necessary in the event of any emergency or calamity threatening the life or wellbeing of the community; or any labour or service that forms part of normal communal or other civic obligations of the wellbeing of the community, such compulsory national service in the armed forces of the Federation as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly, or such compulsory national service which forms part of the education and training of citizens of Nigeria as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

According to the labour law, if an employer is found guilty of an offence, he is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N1,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both. If a public officer puts unnecessary burden upon workers may be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both.

Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act prohibits forced labour. It is an offence and the perpetrator is liable on conviction to imprisonment for at least 5 years and a fine of at least one million Nigerian Naira.

Child’s Rights Act also prohibits forced or exploitive labour. It I considered as a crime and the person liable to this offence is punished by a fine not exceeding fifty thousand naira or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Source: §34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, §73 of the Labour Act (Cap L1 LFN 2004); §22 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015; §28 & 30 of the Child’s Right Act 2003

Freedom to Change Jobs and Right to Quit

Labour Law provides the freedom to change job and right to quit job by providing notice period, depending on the period of employment. In certain cases, specified by the law, worker can quit the job by providing notice and retain his full rights.

The required notice period is one day for a period of three months or less, one week for more than three months but less than two years of service, two weeks for two to five years of service and one month for five or more years of service.

Source: §11 of the Labour Act (Cap L1 LFN 2004)

Inhumane Working Conditions

Working time may be extended beyond normal working hours of forty hours per week. For young workers, the maximum working hours are eight per day. However, there is no statutory provision on the overtime work limit. For more information on this, please refer to the section on compensation.

Source: §59(8) of the Labour Act (Cap L1 LFN 2004); National Minimum Wage Act, 1981

Regulations on Forced Labour

  • 566003
  • 566008
  • 566012
  • 566013
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