EDITORIAL: The lowest paid workers also need protection

The last Rwanda Population and Housing Census (RPHC4) carried out in 2012 put the rate of unemployment at 3.4 percent.

The last Rwanda Population and Housing Census (RPHC4) carried out in 2012 put the rate of unemployment at 3.4 percent.

This was most prevalent among the 16-35-year age group. While the government is planning to create at least 200, 000 off farm jobs a year, the road is still bumpy.

Many young people move to cities in search for greener pastures, but few will ever attain their dreams, some will even succumb to temptations that are not in short supply in urban areas. The most vulnerable are young innocent girls who might be lured into sexual exploitation.

Young men with little education are also subject to exploitation, but of a different kind. They will be employed as house helps (avoiding the derogatory word of houseboy). Most are over worked, underpaid and will never see their names on the social security lists.

But since they have little options, they stick with the abuse. The most at risk in this case will be underage domestic workers, who, at their age, should be in school and not scrubbing pans in the backyard.

Parliament, in conjunction with workers unions, has been trying to come up with a realistic minimum wage acceptable to both sides, taking into consideration the ever rising cost of living.

Those talks should be concluded as a matter of urgency because life out there is no joking matter. The law should also be strict in giving even the lowest paid worker access to social and health cover to cushion them for the future.

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