Rwanda’s Minister of Gendar and Family Promotion has sternly warned child molesters saying government will harshly punish the culprits.
“We are fed up with child molesters. The government will take harsh measures towards punishing the culprits,” Minister Oda Gasinzigwa warned.
Gasinzigwa was speaking at the 12th National Dialogue where she expressed disappointment against increasing child abuse cases.
According to figures from Rwanda National Police anti-GBV and child protection directorate, 3,127 cases of defilement occurred between 2012 and 2013.
At least 325 rape cases were recorded in the same period.
The report says between July and August 2014 alone there were 567 cases related to child abuse, sexual assault and gender based violence reported across the country.
In the same report 12 people were reportedly killed and over 60 others seriously assaulted either by their spouses, neighbours or relatives.
Rape and defilement are majorly blamed on Gender inequality, male chauvinism, drug abuse and ignorance.
Meanwhile, Rwanda invented one stop centers to tackle the sexual violence issues and sensitize citizens against the vice despite slow progress.
Isange One Stop Centre reports that child abuse is on the rise.
“Majority of cases received at Isange are related to child abuse,” says Chief Inspector of Police, Shafiga Murebwayire, the co-coordinator of Isange One Stop Centre.
At the dialogue, different leaders suggested engaging the public and sensitizing people against drugs as some of the sure ways to eradicate vices like child abuse and domestic violence.
“The community should work closely with victims to report as early as possible, rape crimes so that the culprits can be punished, while the victims get medical help,” advised Emaculee Ingabire, Chairperson of Transparency International.
Meanwhile, Diaspora Rwandans suggested that according national ID’s to newly born babies could be give an easy follow-up process to ensure children are safe, be it at school or homes.
Meanwhile, some complex concessional defilement cases were discussed for example issues where young girls elope into marriages before the rightful age.
The Rwandan law permits a girl to marry at 21 years of age, though some districts like Burera were pinned for early marriages.
By: Lilian Gahima