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Exploitation of minor children in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The condition of the child in the world, because of his vulnerability, his dependence on the environment, his lack of physical, intellectual and emotional maturity, requires special care and special protection and has not stopped to always challenge the international and national community.

The definition of the word “child” in the course of history has changed according to the ideologies of which it must be remembered that, whatever the variations, they have a common point which is at least that of the age and that of reference to work. So a child would be the one who does not work, who can not even work or not.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Articles 50, 51, 52 and 53 of the Constitution stipulate that the minor child can not be employed and can not work regardless of the form of the work. A child remains a child whether orphaned, abandoned or living on the streets and needs special care and education, as youth is the future of a nation.

For some time, we have been witnessing the abusive exploitation of minor children, and this in the eyes and under the eye of everyone (parents, national and international community). Children are exploited in mineral mining, field, trade, prostitution, begging and robbery careers regardless of their vulnerability.

The duty of the parents is, among other things, the search for the well-being of the child by giving him a home, a good education, medical care and all that he needs for his growth. As a result of economic instability in the DRC, some parents are failing to fulfill their duties towards children and they are forced to work to supplement the meager income of their parents. There are those who leave school very early to be exploited in begging, commerce, prostitution and forced and early marriage; all this to support the family.

The child is sacrificed and exploited by those who are supposed to provide security, assistance and protection. We see minor children selling even late into the night in bars, terraces and even along the main arteries through which the authorities pass and they are sometimes accompanied by one of the parents and sometimes alone.

We challenge parents, authorities and the international community about the place of the child who is in school and not in the places we have decried above because it remains the future of an entire nation and a good future is coming through good education and appropriate training.

Assa MUTETE KAMONGO

 

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