The government has stepped up efforts to ensure that cases of child labour are significantly reduced in the country.
This was disclosed by Anna Mugabo, the Director General in charge of Labour and Employment in the Ministry of Public Service and Labour.
“We are doing all we can to eliminate child labour in all sectors…we have even put in place labour inspectors in all districts to identify, inspect and report cases of child labour,” Mugabo said.
She added that various laws have also been enacted to protect children against exploitative labour.
“We are also encouraging them to enrol in schools because when children are in school, it becomes difficult for them to engage in child labour activities,” she said, adding that the introduction of the nine-year basic education had significantly increased enrolment.
Outlining major causes of child labour in the country, Mugabo said that prime among them was poverty, ignorance of parents, domestic violence and effects of the 1994 Genocide, citing vulnerable widows, whose children are forced to take up hazardous jobs to win bread for the family.
Others, she said, simply choose to ignore the law by sending children to work even when they have the capacity to fend for them.
Mugabo said that through government programmes like HIMO and VUP Umurenge, some parents have been employed and hence the reduction of the number of children sent to work to provide for their families.
The latest statistics available at the ministry indicate that child labour, which stood at 13 percent in 2002, had dropped to 6.6 percent by 2008.