As the Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU) continues to focus on tackling child labor and promoting child rights in the Quarry and Mining Sector, REWU leaders continue to increase their knowledge in a variety of fields including the operationalization of Early Childhood Development Centers that are starting to be established at working place in the Mines and Quarrying companies across the country.
The initiative is geared up by Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), UNICEF Rwanda, NCDA and REWU.
Therefore, in order to implement the ECDs and monitor their performance, it is important that the participating agencies are provided with knowledge on the functioning of the ECDs to increase the capacity of the program implementation Monitors.
In an interview with Eng. Mutsindashyaka Andre, REWU Secretary General, the Trade Union is currently working with mine & quarry companies, and various partners to build the capacity among Trade union leaders who are the union focal persons at companies to better understand their responsibilities in the operation of the ECDs at working place.
He argues that the idea of advocating for the Establishment of ECDs in the mining and quarry companies was developed in order to protect the rights of the Children and women mothers while at work so that the child could find a place to stay and be cared for.
“Before, we used to face some cases of children dropping out of school to take care of their siblings or work for increasing the income from production of their parents, while their parents were at work either in Mining, Quarrying, businesses such as laying bricks, sugar cane businesses, cross-border business, etc…. Although this challenge still exists in some companies that violate the law prohibiting that, we are confident that the efficient operation of ECDs will lead to a complete eradication of the problem in the Mining and Quarrying Sector. ” Eng. Mutsindashyaka said.
He added that this is also part of ending child labor to promote the education of children in Rwanda.
On the other hand, Eng. Mutsindashyaka finds that it is time for all activities that deprive the child of his or her rights, including the right to education, either in Rwanda or in Africa be completely eradicated.
He revealed that “REWU is currently working with various stakeholders in a campaign for fighting worst form Child labour that could prevent him or her from attending school.”
He calls upon to every one to fight against worst form child labor” and thanks the commitment and many different actions of Rwanda Government to eradicated child labor.
In addition REWU has joined virtual March against Child Labour campaign that focuses on a call to action towards getting children back to school, given that education is an effective social vaccine against child labour.
This march is part of the upcoming the 5th Global Conference on Child Labour which is to be held in South Africa (May 2022).
This campaign is led by Global March against Child Labour, in collaboration with the civil society actors, trade union activists, public institutions, influencers and others in and outside of Africa.