CANKUZO April 21st (ABP) – The minor-exploitation practice is to be avoided in society. This is a joint message from the adviser to the governor of Cankuzo province (eastern Burundi) in charge of legal affairs, Mr. Silas Nimbona and the representative of the association for the defense of children’s rights FENADEB in the same province, Mr. Agapit Kimuzanye during an interview with a check by ABP.
The challenges faced by children selling peanuts and eggs on the street at the headquarters of Cankuzo province include their dismissal without being paid. The reasons of those activities are the poverty in their families which is even at the origin of their school dropouts as they themselves affirm the fact.
Mr. Silas Nimbona and Mr. Agapit Kimuzanye condemn those habits of using children in such work as “human trafficking”. They make it known that the place of children under 18 is in the family and at school. Those children must be protected against forced labor and anything that can compromise their morality, adding that they have the right to health, security and education.
The representative of FENADEB asks the administrative authorities to take all possible measures to protect those children who are poorly paid and sometimes abused.
Regarding the case of pupils who work to find ways to buy school kits or get school fees, the legal affairs officer in the governor’s office indicates that this is even prohibited. He explains that those daily incomes can plunge the child into the said profession when he/she must first, as a minor, be primordially on the school bench.
According to Silas Nimbona, article 522 of the penal code stipulates that whoever uses the child in work which, by its nature or the conditions in which it is carried out, is likely to harm his/her health, security or morality, is punished with a penal servitude of 3 to 5 years and a fine ranging from 50 to 100,000 BIF. He advises the perpetrators of that exploitation to break with that bad habit.