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Bugesera Residents Urged to Gear up Protection of Children’s Rights

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has called on residents of Rweru sector in Bugesera district to gear up their efforts in preserving children’s rights at all times and also promote their welfare.

The call was made on April 26 by police officers who accompanied the mobile police station van where it handled different complaints filed by residents of Butima cell where the van was station.

Prior to taking on residents’ complaints, officers took time to tutor residents about children’s rights and their role in ensuring children’s rights is not violated.

In her address to residents, Inspector of Police (IP) Viviane Umulisa from the Criminal Investigation Department (CIP) described who a child is and their rights saying, “children’s right starts from how to care for them, how you provide requirements for their wellbeing, the love you show them and how best you ensure their safety and protection.”

Inspector of Police (IP) Viviane Umulisa from the Criminal Investigation Department (CIP) talking to the residents about observing children’s rights.

She mentioned that some of the ways used in abusing children’s rights include physical and psychological violence, sexual harassment as well as child labour.

“We have renewed our commitment to ensure that no children live on the streets or any other place that is unfit for habitation. This commitment also includes fighting child labor or any other vice that undermines the rights of a child; but we cannot achieve this without your involvement that’s why we are calling you to come on board so that we give a good life to our children,” IP Umulisa said.

She urged them to report to police anyone who violated or abuses a child in any way. Following her address, residents pledged to work closely with security organs in preserving children’s rights.

However, the Rwanda’s constitution also states clearly the rights that should be granted to children.

What the Constitution of Rwanda talks about children.

4.2. The Constitution of Rwanda. Rwanda’s Constitution has several articles which protect children’s rights, either explicitly or as part of the general population as a whole:
• Article 1: The Constitution of Rwanda states a child to be any person under 18 unless a specific law specifies that majority is attained earlier.
• Article 10: The human person is sacred and inviolable. The State and all public administration organs have the absolute obligation to respect, protect and defend him or her.
• Article 12: Every person has a right to life.
• Article 14: the State shall take special measures for the welfare of...vulnerable groups.
• Article 15: every person has the right to physical and mental integrity. No person shall be subjected to torture, physical abuse or cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment . No one shall be subjected to experimentation without his/her informed consent. The moralities of such consent and experiment are determined by law.
• Article 27: The family, which is the natural foundation of Rwandan society, is protected by the State. Both parents have the right and duty to bring up their children. The State shall put in place appropriate legislation and institutions for the protection of the family and the mother and child in particular in order to ensure that the family flourishes.
• Article 33 - Freedom of thought, opinion, conscience, religion, worship and the public manifestation thereof is guaranteed by the State in accordance with conditions determined by law. Propagation of ethnic, regional, racial or discrimination or any other form of division is punishable by law.
• Article 34 - Freedom of the press and freedom of information are recognized and guaranteed by the State. Freedom of speech and freedom of information shall not prejudice public order and good morals, the right of every citizen to honour, good reputation and the privacy of personal and family life. It is also guaranteed so long as it does not prejudice the protection of the youth and minors. The conditions for exercising such freedoms are determined by law.
• Article 35 - Freedom of association is guaranteed and shall not require prior authorization. Such freedom shall be exercised under conditions determined by law.
• Article 36 - Freedom of peaceful assembly without arms is guaranteed if it is not inconsistent with the law. Prior authorization shall only be necessary if the law so requires and solely in the case of assembly in the open air, in a public place or on a public road, to the extent that such is necessary in the interests of public safety, public health or public order.

What the Bible talks about children.

Psalm 127:3-5
3. Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
4. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
5. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

By Robert Muriisa.

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