The working and living conditions of child domestic workers: A qualitative case study in Kigali City and its periphery
Hahirwa, Gumira Joseph
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The researcher's concern for the topic was founded on the fact that previous research on child labour in Rwanda did not qualitatively explore the working and living conditions of child domestic workers in this specific contextual setting. The aim of the study therefore, was to explore the living and working conditions of child domestic workers in a contextual setting of Kigali city and its periphery. To achieve the objectives of this study, a qualitative approach was envisaged, utilizing a case study strategy. The population was selected among child domestic workers in four districts of Kigali city and its periphery. The criteria of selection and reaching participants were snowball sampling and purposive sampling techniques. Data was collected by means of a semi-structured interview with open-ended questions. The collected data was analyzed through a model that is presented as a spiral image including: Collecting and recording data; managing data; reading and writing memos; describing, classifying and interpreting; representing and visualizing (Creswell, 1998: 142-165). In order to increase trustworthiness, triangulation as a process that uses multiple perceptions to clarify meaning, was used through child workers themselves, their employers, neighbours and local authorities. Colleagues helped to verify translations from mother tongue into English. Participants, especially child domestic workers revealed that the main factors pushing them into the job market was poverty and family and socio-political conflicts. Findings concerning working and living conditions also indicate experiences of exploitation and maltreatment. It has also been revealed that most participants were ignorant about children's rights. Finally discussions allowed the researcher to discover what participants and especially child domestic participants were expecting in their future and suggestions of how child domestic work would be abolished.