On December 30, 2019, the National Commission for Human Rights held a meeting with members of the Observatory of the Child's Rights (ODE). The meeting was opened by the Commission Vice President, Mr. Sinyigaya Silas. The theme of the meeting was “let us promote child rights by fighting against child rights violations.
The meeting purpose was to highlight how child rights are enforced in Rwanda and to shed lights to major arising issues for both the Observatory of the Child's Rights Committee Members and the Commission’s Stakeholders to take appropriate action.
It is worth recalling that such Committee is specifically in charge of monitor the respect of child rights, child rights promotion, preventing violations of child rights and advocacy for such rights to be respected.
Uwiduhaye Théodore a resident of Gasabo District, in the name his co-residents requested the Commission to highlights objectives it has established in order to fights against child sexual abuse.
In his opening remarks, the Vice President of the Commission recalled that such meeting takes place annually and that it was held on the 8th occasion.
He demonstrated further some of the major causes as to why child sexual abuse is still acute in Rwandan community. Those causes include among other things: drug abuse, some of the parents who deviate from their responsibilities of rearing their children and some of family conflicts that severely affect children.
Since the meeting had also brought on board the Commission’s stakeholders, the Commission Vice President took the opportunity to explain the establishment and the functioning of ODE.
Uwizeye Marie Thérese, the Commissioner specifically in Charge of Child Rights, addressed the participants on the executions of the recommendations of the meeting of December 2018. Further, the participants were briefed on the complaints of children rights violations that have been handled in the last ten months whereby a big number of them (222/685) pertain child sexual abuse.
Before participants were given opportunity to give their views and recommendations, a group of some of the authorities representing national organs in charge of monitoring, preventing, fighting against child sexual abuse were constituted in order to demonstrate what has been done in order to eradicate such abuse.
The group was constituted by Muhongerwa Agnès representing the National Public Prosecution Authority, Makombe Jean Marie Vianney, the Commissioner in the National Commission for Human Rights, Nyirabahinde Anastasie representing the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion and Bwiza Blanche representing the Judiciary.
The issues that were highlighted include one pertaining some of children who cannot have access to lunch at schools. To that issue, it was resolved that the Commission should engage the concerned institution to find appropriate solution.
In his closing remarks, the Vice President of the Commission thanked the participants for turn-up to the meeting and applauded their views.
He insisted that the Country has achieved a lot in regards to the issues pertaining children’s rights abuse. He stressed however that more effort must be put on ongoing problem. He went further to state that ODE should be streamlined to reflect the current situation.