Rwanda has put in place several measures to end child labour, which has resulted into majority victims being withdrawn from child labour activities and accorded decent life.
Among the measures that have been applied include enacting and enforcing laws against child labour as well as Rwanda National Police awareness campaigns conducted in partnership with relevant institutions.
These strategies against child labour are in line with other existing mechanisms like Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) I and II, and different social protection programmes.
At least 7,000 children have been rescued from child labour in the last seven years, according to statistics.
It is in this spirit that RNP is currently engaged in countrywide awareness campaigns against child labour across to ensure such cases are avoided or reported where they exist.
On Tuesday, the campaign was held in Kayonza District where police met with over 3000 residents of Mukarange Sector as well as student and teachers from four schools.
The schools are G.S Kayonza, G.S. Mukarange Catholic, Kayonza Vocation Academy and Victorious Academy School.
The event was in line with ‘World Day against Child Labour’ and the ‘Day of the African Child’ (DAC) celebrated every June 16, normally celebrated every June 12 and 16, respectively, every year.
During the celebrations, residents, teachers and students were tutored on what Rwanda has so far achieved in fighting child labour and their role in putting to an end the vice.
“Any child who is subjected to forced labour is being denied their rights; it’s likely that such a child will not have education and exposed to health hazards both mentally and physically,” Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP) Leonille Mujawamariya, the District Community Liaison Officer of Kayonza, said.
She reminded that there are clear laws against child labor and warned of severe consequences to anyone that will be caught violating rights of children.
“Parents should know that they have the primary responsibility of ensuring children are not exploited or prematurely forced into hazardous activities,” said Mujawamariya.
She further urged the students to always report injustices they face or witness.
The official in charge of good governance in Kayonza, Jean Paul Rurangwa also emphasized the message and called on parents to be the custodians in enforcing laws against child labour.
Child labour, under the Rwandan laws, is defined as the denial of children’s rights and a barrier to holistic child development.
Latest statistics by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) show that the total child labour ratio stands at 4.1 per cent with child labour in non-hazardous conditions accounting for 1.3 per cent of all children from the age of 6 to 17.