The Poverty Indicators Survey (EICV), conducted every 5 years to provide information on changes in the welfare of the population, indicates that child labour prevalence in Rwanda has fallen by 4.3 percent over the last five years.
Child employment which is defined as persons younger than 15 years working in an economic activity, either for reward or in a family farm or business, according to the survey fell from 9.6 percent to 5.3 percent in the previous survey.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Dr. Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya, the Minister in Charge of Gender and Family Promotion, said the decrease in numbers is attributed to sensitization of the population on the effects of child labour.
“Universal primary education and other development projects being put in place by the government have led to the reduction in poverty which has discouraged parents from sending their children to look for odd jobs,” said the minister during a phone interview.
Less than 200,000 persons under the age of 21 are now working which is much less than what was the case in 2000/01 and school participation is now much higher, with 330,000 more children under 15 years in schools.
The survey also shows that over half a million over 21 year olds are now in school or training of different types. It further indicates that three quarters of all children less than 15 years who work, are in agriculture.
An estimated 158 million children aged 5-14 are engaged in child labour - one in six children in the world.
Millions of children are engaged in hazardous situations or conditions, such as working in mines, working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or with dangerous machinery.