The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: 65 Percent Reported Cases of Violence Involve Children

The biggest percentage of violence cases reported at the Police One Stop Centres in Kigali involve children, Zaina Nyiramatama, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Children has said.

She cited the common cases as sexual violence comprising rape as well as corporal punishments that includes severe beatings.

In an interview with The New Times, Nyiramatama noted that the commission is working hard to halt cases of child violence, adding that awareness campaigns against the vice would be carried out during the ongoing 16 days of activism.

"We also have a plan to deploy community based child care volunteers and a psycho-social team across the country to help in the fight against child violence. These will also help in implementing preventive measures as we aim to avoid intervening when children's rights have already been violated," she said.

Victims of child violence can always report to the community based child-care volunteers. We shall inform the public of their existence once they are deployed, she said.

Nyiramatama noted that the volunteers would not offer counselling but will instead monitor and ensure follow up to ensure that the rights of children are not violated.

Plans are also underway to start children forums in all schools to enable them boldly disclose and discuss issues affecting them such as child abuse.

"We want to have an eye everywhere to prevent cases of child violence and stop those already in place," she added.

Nyiramatama further observed that all districts have children rights manager to handle such cases.

Each year, government organises children's summits to enable children to voice their concerns.

Rwanda was among the first countries in the world to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 2011, the Government established a National Commission for Children, to promote children's rights. It developed a plan of action to protect children from abuse, violence and exploitation.

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