Under-age DRC kids turn to moto-taxis to survive Covid fallout

World

Under-age DRC kids turn to moto-taxis to survive Covid fallout

Growing number of Congolese children illegally driving motorcycle taxis to help put food on the table

Jordan Mayenikini

Congolese teenager Bienvenu dreams of owning a clothing business but spends his days illegally driving a motorbike taxi in busy Kinshasa to support his family during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Navigating traffic and dodging cops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital, the 16-year-old has been working as an underage moto-taxi driver — the legal minimum age is 18 — since his uncle lost his travel agency job five months ago.

Bienvenu is one of thousands of Congolese children estimated by charities to have joined the labour force over the last year due to the new coronavirus. As schools shut, many children started working to help put food on the table at home...

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