Physical and psychological effects of drugs lead to agitation, aggression, etc., that might in turn heighten risk of violence. Children are most often abused by those close to them such as neighbors, friends, teachers, parents and relatives. Statistics in various areas in the country indicate that about 78,000 babies were born to teen mothers between 2015 and 2019. However, The Government of Rwanda is committed to protecting children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Child protection refers to preventing and responding to child abuse and exploitation, that is, child labour, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and harmful customary practices.
“Some children are abused because of poverty; mostly rich men deliberately abuse them. Nowadays children continue to be abused, and must be stopped." Perpetrators should be punished in an exemplary manner, asking the victims should adhere to the ``Common One Stop'' and everyone should stand up for this problem. Mostly those men who abuse children are mentally ill. Some of those children abused drop out from schools, even may have mental health, emotional diseases.” Said Mrs. Sadate Nyiramahire, a resident of Nyabisindu Cell, in Remera Sector.
Residents in Kigali say that children from poor families don't report abuses, they rather negotiate “Children are abused because of their very poor families, some of them trick them with money, materials, etc. And they return to poor families where these children want to be the same as their Schoolmates, neighboring family children. Where in self-help families. If a girl is faced GBV, first support is to she contacts the authorities in charge, such as the village administration or the RIB. Therefore, we can contact RIB Reporting domestic and/or gender-based violence, Call: 3512, Isange One Stop Centre, Call: 3029, Reporting child abuse Call: 116." Mrs. Jeannette Mukakagabo, a resident of Kibagabaga Cell, Kimironko Sector.
“It is due to the failure of parents who are not close to their children or do not teach them about reproductive health. There should be a deep and sufficient campaign. Thus, Victims would appeal to RIB to seek help. Otherwise, Violence against Children still exists, I think it's because they don't attend school, and talking to them would be one of the reasons why it be ends. Parents who are neglecting their responsibilities, should approach the children and tell them how to behave, prevent and to be close to their children, even when the government recall parents to hold their responsibilities.” Said Mr. Marcel Nsengimana, a resident of Nyagatovu Cell in Kimironko Sector.
“The violence against girls is caused by many and different factors, but he pointed out that drugs are at the top. Sometimes Girls due to the bad environment they are with boys or older men can also be the cause of bad behavior, causing these girls to be abused. We’re campaigning both in schools and in the community to encourage people to stand up and prevent violence against Children is a very bad thing which destroy our community and future. When Victim face this problem, we give first aid and take him to the hospital, to check if not infected with genital diseases. Some of the victim faces trauma.” Said Muhire Jean Luc, the Executive Secretary of Kibagabaga Cell, in Kimironko Sector.
“Yes, there is 1 girl who gave birth at the age of 14 and now has a child who is one year and 9 months old; His case was reported and he is being treated in cooperation with AEE. We give instruction on violence, its types, and how it can be prevented and provided by continuous campaigns. Among the youth, we bring them together in forums, while the adults and the rest receive talks and are visited at home in order to discuss their families. Monitoring the pet's home and preventing it from falling, we help the victim of violence to get immediate medical help report the case to the RIB so that the perpetrator is punished to help him in the way of recovery and acceptance of his experience and to deal with the consequences when there are due to the violence. Most of the violence against girls is caused by bad attitudes, it is also the dissatisfaction of some, neglect of children by parents and others. So far we have 1 case report that is being tracked in RIB.” Said Mrs. Umuhoza Rwabukumba Mado, the Executive Secretary, Kimirironko Sector, Gasabo District.
Promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRH&R) among adolescents is everyone’s responsibility. It is very important to equip youth, boys, and girls with all needed information to protect them from sexual abuse and related consequences. Our girls should not live in fear of sexual abuse often done by those who should protect them, school dropouts; the carelessness of some parents that result in lack of nutritional diet among others” Said the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Prof. Jeannette Bayisenge.
According to UNICEF RWANDA, ending violence against children is a global priority clearly articulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All boys and girls are vulnerable to violence. In an effort to access much-needed care, protection, and services, families often place children in institutional care. Studies show that over 50% of children in Rwanda are victims of sexual, physical or emotional violence. In Rwanda, 5 in 10 girls and 6 in 10 boys experience at least one form of violence –sexual, physical or emotional, before age 18. Children are most often abused by those they know: parents, neighbours, teachers or friends.
Violence against children and young people is a fundamental violation of their rights. Sexual, physical and emotional violence have a devastating impact on health and happiness and prevent children and youth from contributing to societies to their full potential. The child protection system in Rwanda is still emerging. UNICEF has helped the Government of Rwanda make several important improvements in recent years: Establishment of 44 “One-Stop Centres”, where victims can report violence, receive mental health counselling, and access medical services. Building a workforce of professional social workers and psychologists, legal experts, police, and almost 30,000 community child protection volunteers known as “Inshuti z’Umuryango” or “Friends of the Family”. These “Friends of the Family” help identify, refer and respond to cases of violence, abuse and neglect in their communities. Finding loving family homes for around 3,000 children who previously lived in orphanages and other institutions. Development of the Justice for Children Policy in 2013 and the Justice for Children guidance in 2017.
In Rwanda, UNICEF focuses on strengthening the national child protection system alongside the Government. We envision a child protection system which can help prevent and respond to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. This system would ensure that: National institutions can legislate, plan, budget, coordinate and enforce child protection at all levels of government. Child protection service providers can deliver these services efficiently and effectively. All girls and boys – including their families can prevent and respond to violence, neglect, exploitation and abuse, especially by addressing social norms which perpetuate violence and discrimination.