In DRC, JHR-trained journalist Ashuza Baraka’s article on the sexual exploitation of underage laborers at a Luhihi gold mine in the province of South Kivu has led to a ban on child labor at the site.
Baraka is a journalist based in Bukavu, a city located 50km away from Luhihi, and works for the environment-focused radio station, Gorilla FM. This report was his first article since he received a bursary and mentorship from JHR in March this year.
In the story, Ashuza highlighted the sexual abuse suffered by the girls working at the mine. After the story was published, the local authorities of the Kabare region announced the ban on underage workers, which has been enforced.
“The authorities have resolved to restrict access of children and underage girls to Luhihi mine quarry. Also, the exploitation of children through forced labor in the mine has been prohibited. We believe this is a positive step by the authorities,” said Marie Claire Mapendo, the director of PAIF, a women’s rights organization in South Kivu.
At present, the site has been fenced and entry is permitted after the display of ID cards. The new measure by the government has helped protect girls from sexual exploitation as well as hazards associated with mining work itself.
Ashuza said, “There are many cases of human rights abuses in DRC that are not yet reported. I urge JHR to continue supporting journalists so we can bring change in our country.”
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