Police said that the suspects, all residents of Murehe cell, Twumba sector have been exploiting the under aged children, subjecting them to labour exploitation while working in the homes and farmlands
According to the District Police Commander (DPC) Superintendent of Police (SP) Emmanuel Karuranga child labour is outlawed in Rwanda and the law defines a child as anyone under the age of 16.
“These people were exploiting children as young as ten years of age; this can’t be allowed to continue children must be in school not in the fields working,” said the DPC.
SP Karuranga explained that when his office got information on the exploitation of the children, it made immediate intervention and arrested the suspects.
He applauded local leaders and well-meaning parents to always give information to police about such incidents.
In May this year, the cabinet meeting requested relevant institutions including Rwanda National Police to closely monitor the issue of child labour, denounce it and hold accountable culprits.
The Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA) defines child labour as the denial of children’s rights and a barrier to holistic child development.
MIFOTRA further categorises children in their age groups permissible to work where all children younger than five years are assumed to be economically inactive.
Children between five and 12 years are however, allowed to perform unpaid household chores but are not allowed to work in not more than 20 hours a week.
While Children aged between the ages of 13 to 15 are allowed to perform light work, which includes domestic work and other family income generating activities inside or outside of their household, in not more than 20 hours a week.
The minimum employment age in Rwanda is 16 years.
Children between the ages of 16 to 17 are, however, allowed to perform all activities except the worst forms of child labour and hazardous work.
In November2016, a comprehensive report produced by MIFOTRA indicated that there were great achievements towards the elimination of child labour, including its worst forms in Rwanda.
Among the achievements includes the adoption of the Early Childhood Development Policy, that came into force in September 2016, which addresses the holistic development of the child and promotes inter-sectoral planning for the welfare of the children.
Also, the enforcement of child labour elimination laws, regulations and policies through regular inspection by labour inspectors, steering committees and imposing penalties on identified.