In a bid to ensure no abuse of children’s rights, Police in Rulindo District met with 350 tea farmers operating at Muvumo and Kavumo sites in Rulindo District and tutored them about effects of child labour.
They were also urged to advance the rights of children.
The call was made by District Community Liaison Officer Inspector of Police (IP) Fidèle Mbonimana, along with the Inspector of Labour, Evelyne Nyirahahakizimana, in a meeting held on May 30.
Nyirahahakizimana told the farmers that, “any child who is below the age of 16 should be in school not working for money.”
“Some parents involve children in field work collecting tea which amount to child labour and punishable by laws,” the labour inspector said.
In his address to the farmers, IP Mbonimana said: “There are clear laws against child labor and several campaigns have been conducted in line with sensitizing the public against such child rights violations.”
“Eeryone should be in position to understand that whoever exploits or deprives a child of their rights will face the wrath of the law,” he said.
“Such attitude should change; parents should know they have the primary responsibility of ensuring children are not exploited or prematurely forced into labour.”
Under no circumstance, he said, should a child be allowed to work in the tea fields.
In June 1999, Rwanda became a signatory to the Convention of the International Labour Organization on prohibition and immediate elimination of worst forms of child labor.
The law relating to the rights and protection of the child states in its article 51 that, “all forms of economic exploitation of a child by requiring him or her to accomplish a work that is likely to put him or her at risk or to compromise his or her education or to harm his or her health, her physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development are prohibited and punishable by law.”
A child aged 16 years of age and below, is not allowed to be engaged in any income generating works.
The penal code punishes child labour with imprisonment term of up to seven years.