Respect for rights and safety of Rwandan children is a very important ingredient in nurturing the future leaders of the country, delegates have said at an ongoing dialogue in Kigali.
Jeannot Ruhunga the Secretary General of Rwanda Investigation Bureau told delegates that the agency he heads needs support from other stakeholders to conduct its duties effectively.
“Children are the future of Rwanda. What we sow in them is what the country will reap from them in future. If we therefore want to build a better Rwanda, we have to take good care of our children and protecting them from any harm and abuse of any form,” the RIB boss said during his presentation.
RIB is Responsible for investigative functions, gathering evidence and assisting local law enforcement agencies.
Occasionally there are reports of defilement, rape and violence against children in homes and in some schools. Some children are also found employed in menial jobs and denied chance to go to school.
For example school dropout rate in Rwanda has persisted and in 2014, the primary school dropout increased to 14.3% from 11.4% in 2010.
An estimated 10% of children of lower secondary-school-age (13 to 15) dropped out of school in 2016, a figure that increases to 18% for children of upper secondary school-age (16 and 171 ).
In reference to the Rwanda Demographic Health Survey (RDHS) 2014-2015, a large number of young people (including those still enrolled in school) are already engaging in sexual relationships and risk contracting sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, among others.
Official government data indicates that teenage pregnancy rate increased from 6.1 per cent in 2010 to 7.3 per cent in 2015.
These are several of cases the Investigations agency has to deal with. However, without support from various stakeholders and the public, it poses a big challenge.
The Dialogue has been organised in partnership with World Vision- a Christian organisation working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty.
Another partner in this Dialogue is Rwanda National Commission for Children whose national mandate is to ensure that rights of all children are preserved and promoted throughout the country.