In late November 2019, a shopkeeper in Kigali allegedly defiled a three-year-old girl who was sent to the shop to buy airtime. Her parents found out a week later when they could hardly provide evidence for the case. The defiler was arrested three weeks ago and denied all charges.
Rape and defilement cases usually go unreported or often cannot stand in court due to lack of sufficient evidence.
To address the challenge, Rwanda National Police is planning in rolling out a new campaign set children right abuse, defilement and gender-based-violence cases.
This was revealed by the Rwanda National Police spokesperson, Commissioner of Police John Bosco Kabera at a press conference on the state of security in 2019 and the plans for the 2020 held on January 3rd at the police headquarters.
Like the “Gerayo Amahoro” campaign currently underway, Police are set to launch “Rengera Umwana” campaign, which will seek to tackle issues such as teen pregnancies, child labor, gender based violence, school drop outs and child trafficking among others.
“We saw a drastic rise in teen pregnancies and children-related crimes in 2019. In partnership with concerned parties, we are planning on to carry out an awareness campaign and we are optimistic that it is going to work,” Kabera said.
Defilement, as one of the most prevalent crimes that emerged in 2019, is one of the targeted issues that will be curbed by “Rengera Umwana” campaign along with child delinquency and drug abuse in children.
“We will partner up with concerned authorities including the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, National Children Council, among others,” Kabera added.
Rengera Umwana” awareness campaign will reach out to parents, teachers, potential perpetrators and children.
Kabera also added that the campaign will sensitize the general public about children rights, gaps that need to be filled and children rights.
GBV among issues to be addressed
In 2019, according to Justice Minister Johnston Busingye, Gender-Based-Violence crimes escalated to 5,013 from 4, 124 in 2018.
“GBV is among the issues that the campaign will be tackling. When either of the parents experience GBV, it has direct consequences on the wellbeing of a child,” Kabera explained.
Article 2 of N°59/2008 of 10/09/2008 of the law on prevention and punishment of gender-based violence (GBV) defines gender-based violence as “any act that results in a bodily, psychological, sexual and economic harm to somebody based on their gender.”
A 2016 research by the African UN Development Report estimated that a one per cent increase in gender inequality reduces a country’s human development index by 0.75 percent and that gender inequality costs sub-Saharan Africa on average $95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014– or six percent of the sub-region’s GDP.Follow AngeIliza