A lesson from Rwanda

2009

It's not too often that we discuss what's going on across Africa in these posts, so I decided to change that. After doing some research in the news, it seems our friends in Africa enjoy (well, not literally) the same problems as workers everywhere else in the world. However, I did come across one nugget of interest, during my search, coming from the Council of Labour and Fraternity in Rawanda. The message: know your rights.

Short and to the point, it is excellent advice to people of every nation. In their experiences, too many employers across Rwanda get away with appalling behavior simply because the average worker a) doesn't know much about labor laws, and b) is willing to accept it for the privilege of having a job.

Both ways of thinking, in Rwanda, and elsewhere, are unacceptable. After all, as employees, we do have the responsibility to know our rights, and where we don't know, or aren't sure, about our protections, it is up to us to ask someone who does.

It's up to as employees, and citizens of the world, to take advantage of the bravery and fights fought by those who came before us. Every person who lets themselves be trampled upon by an employer who seizes upon ignorance takes a whole, huge step back for the rest of us.

It's time for us all to wake up, do our due diligence, and find out how we are protected lest we continue to keep working longer hours for less money.

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