The National Commission for Human Rights, according to the Article 6 (4o) of law No. 19/2013 of 25/03/2013 determining missions, organization and functioning of that gives the Commission the special mission “to particularly monitor the respect for the right of child, women, person with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, refugees, migrant workers and members of their families and elderly”, on May 13th, 2016 it presented findings on the survey it conducted on gender based violence, especially the rape of minors to provide rich information on the defilement so as to build evidence-based planning and decision making in fighting the violation of rights of minors.
The results from the survey discovered that minors are facing defilement with several negative effects including health, education, emotion, integration in the society, etc. Thus, the results called upon strategies to be established in order to fight those crimes. The National Commission for Human Rights does not undervalue the commendable efforts done by other institutions interested in fighting gender-based violence, but pleased to provide extended information on the rape of minors and wish all users maximum exploitation of this survey findings.
The survey on gender based violence especially the defilement in Rwanda was conducted by National Commission for Human Rights to provide rich information on violation of rights of minors by defilement to help the establishment of evidence-based mitigation plans in fighting it.
The findings are inferred from the sample of 200 respondents comprised of defilement victims, defilement perpetrators, family members of victims and general public. The sample provides estimates on the scale of defilement in Rwanda, its causes and consequences. Documentary consultation of different literatures has been referred to identify existing socio-cultural and existing legal protection of victims of gender-based violence.
The analysis revealed that defilement is a challenge faced by both girls and boys with predominance to girls, 97.5% female victims and 2.5% male victims. In contrast, perpetrators are largely dominated by male, 97% male perpetrators against 3% female perpetrators. The alarming situation is that the rate of reporting defilement cases is still low due to Rwandan culture, amicable negotiation and fear of stigma.
The survey ranked minors care taker/or teacher on top in committing this crime, (33.5%) followed by their cousins and neighbors with 15% each respectively. The main causes of defilement were identified as alcohol and drugs, 20.3% and cohabitation, 14.5%.
The survey also revealed that defilement is generally committed by the people aged between 18 and 30 years, 77.3 % and people aged between 31 and 40 years, 22.7%.
The results of the study revealed underreporting of defilement cases as due to culture and fear of stigma; it has been noticed less awareness on defilement and reparations to victims of defilement are almost inexistent. This raises the need of minors to be sensitized and educated on their rights and need to increase the awareness on this issue to the general public as well.