The government will soon adopt a policy and five-year strategic plan for the elimination of child labour, a move aimed at engaging all institutions in the fight against the use of underage children in exploitive and hazardous activities.
This comes at a time when child labour is believed to be high in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it is a major phenomenon, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
According to Alexander Twahirwa, an official from the Ministry of Labour and Public Service, both the policy and the strategic plan will soon be sent to the Cabinet for approval.
It will be the first time the government has formulated and adopted policies and strategies against child labour as the vice is believed to be on the rise.
“At the ministry level, we have finished our work; both the policy and the strategic plan were last week approved by the national labour council and they will be presented to the ministers responsible on July 6, before sending them to the Cabinet for approval,” Twahirwa said.
He explained that it will aid in the process to “remove children involved in the worst forms of child labour”.
“In order to do this, effectively, first of all we are going to strengthen the awareness and to conduct a study to know all the children involved in these worst forms of child labour and put them in schools,” said Twahirwa.
“We also want to work with all districts to establish regulations. On the national level, we have a law but it is not well implemented or respected at the lowest level of governance.
The 2008 Rwanda National Child Labour Survey (RNCLS-2008), estimates that 11.2 percent (324,659) of children aged between five and 17, engage in economic activities. Almost half of them [5.3 percent] work full time while 5.9 percent combine going to school with work.
The vast majority of children – 83.6 percent – carry out household chores, with at least 87.9 percent of them in the Northern Province, according to the survey.
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