Rescued from child labour: Killing two birds with one stone

On Wednesday, 13th July 2022,  on the way to Nyungwe Cluster for a joint field visit, staff from the World Vision and the Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU) found more than 15 children that were carrying roof tiles, in Nyange AP, Giko Village, Gaseke Cell in Nyange Sector.

These children were approached and talked to,  however, none could reveal who the owner was. They only shared that the roof tiles are being transported from around 15 kms at a cost of 5Rwf per tile.

 “I don’t really know the owner, but I suspect that Mr. ‘Sylvère’ could be the one” replied the village leader on a phone call, and promised to follow up on this case.

Later on Mr Sylvère was called and agreed to be the owner of the tiles but that he had no idea of children being the ones to carry them. “I dealt with their parents, not children, but I am very sorry and going to act on it right now” said Mr Sylvère.

He was warned and urged to sort this out with immediate effect as well as spreading the message to other similar business owners. 

Also, the case was reported to Rwanda National Police of Nyange Sector and the latter promised to follow up on this after being given all the details of the case and contacts of both the village leader and the tiles owner.

Combating the problem of child labor is the responsibility of everyone.

Article 6 of the law regulating labor in Rwanda, prohibits subjecting a child below the age of 18 to any form of works, which are physically harmful to the child; work underground, underwater, at dangerous heights or in confined space; work with dangerous machinery, equipment and tools or which involves manual handling or transport of heavy loads; work in an environment, which exposes the child to temperatures, noise levels or vibrations damaging his/her health; work for longer hours or during the night or performed in confined spaces.

Under article 117, an employer, who personally subjects a child to any of the prohibited forms of work for the child referred to under Article 6, commits an offence. Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years and a fine of not less than Rwf500,000 and not more than Rwf5 million, or one of these penalties.

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