Rwanda: Businesses in sectors including mining and agriculture will face punitive measures if found engaging in child labour or indecent work says the government

Author: Michel Nkurunziza, The New Times (Rwanda), Published on: 14 January 2019

"Businesses to face punitive measures if found engaging in child labour", 8 January 2019

Businesses in sectors such as hospitality, mining, tea and rice plantations could face severe punitive measures if found to be engaging in child labor or indecent labour, activists and government officials have warned.

Figures show that at least 146,386 children are employed in worst forms of child labor and hazardous works across the country.They are mainly employed in activities such as tea and coffee, fishing, agriculture, construction, mining, marshlands, restaurants and bars as well as transport...[An analysis] of the Impact of key business policies on child rights in Rwanda shows...that business violate the ten principles that govern businesses in terms of child rights’ protection...

The principles call for all businesses to respect children’s rights though private sector federation’s code does not clarify any requirement to ensure supplied goods were not in violation of children’s rights, said Evariste Murwanashyaka, the Programs Manager and Child Rights focal Person at CLADHO. “All businesses should fight against child labor according to the principles but we still see children in large mining operations, tea plantations and informal sector,” he said...

He said that there is still low level of awareness of laws protecting children’s rights in businesses as well as discrepancies between laws on child labor. “There is recommendation to set up national action plan on respecting children’s rights among businesses and initiate legal reform to harmonize the laws,” he said.

 

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