KIGALI - Child labour has dropped by nearly four percent in the last five years, a joint research conducted by the Ministry of Public Services and Labour, and Rwanda Bureau of Statistics indicates.
The research commissioned in July this year shows that child labour has dropped from 9.6 in 2002 to 3 percent in 2007.
Angelina Muganza, the State Minister in-charge of Skills Development and Labour in the Ministry of Public Services and Labour, said that a research conducted on child labour activities in the pilot district of Karongi showed that child labour is declining due to good governance policies against the practice.
Muganza said child domestic service is widespread practice in urban areas.
She remarked that child domestic workers come from extremely poor families; many have been abandoned or orphaned, or come from single parent families.
They are normally employed as house girls and boys, and have been abused in one way or another and the ministry is committed to fighting all such activities, she added.
“There is need to determine the kind of jobs that are given to children to ensure that their rights are not abused,” the minister said.
She was speaking recently at the Prime Holdings Conference Centre where her ministry announced a 5-year programme to scale down the problem of child labour in the country and meet the international labour demands.
The ministry, she said, has a number of focal points in all parts of the country and programmes are in place to monitor the problem of child employment, which explains the reduced percentages.
A steering committee has been instituted by the ministry to study the problem and enforce the laws against those who continue infringing on children’s rights, Muganza disclosed.
She noted that children are the future generation and should not be denied the chance to go to school to enable them contribute to national development.
She warned those currently employing children as house boys and girls to send them back to school.