Police warns over child labour
The warning comes after a couple identified as Damien Haguminshuti and his wife Jacqueline Mukamurenzi, residents of Gahara Sector in Kirehe District, on April 7, sent their 12-year old child to a chalk mining concession.
The concession later collapsed killing the boy.
Reacting on the incident, the Eastern Region Police spokesperson, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi, sympathized with the family of the deceased, but warned the public against unlawful acts.
â€œThere are clear laws against child labor and several campaigns have been conducted in line with sensitizing the public against such child rights violations and everyone should be in position to understand that whoever exploits or deprives a child of their rights will face the wrath of the law,â€ he added.
â€œSuch attitude should change; parents should know they have the primary responsibility of ensuring children are not exploited or prematurely forced into labour.â€
Under no circumstance, he said, should a child be allowed into or near a mining concession, be involved in domestic chores and any other hard labour activities.
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, â€œall 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.â€
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 and a fine of up to Rwf500, 000.