KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: The right to social security

Did you know that you are entitled to social security? What is social security, you may ask? Well, it is a measure taken by the government or society to protect people from suffering that would have been caused by the reduction or absence of income.

Did you know that you are entitled to social security? What is social security, you may ask? Well, it is a measure taken by the government or society to protect people from suffering that would have been caused by the reduction or absence of income.

For instance, if your parents or guardians fell sick or got injured or lost their jobs, or became too old to work, you would be entitled to protection from losing out on basic needs such as education, food, clothing and shelter.

 

This is according to article 22 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says that everyone is entitled to social security.

 

As a child, you already have a right to special protection. This is according to article 28 of Rwandan constitution which says, “Every child is entitled to special measures of protection by his/her family, society and the State that are necessary, depending on the status of the child, under national and international law.”

 

The reason why family, society and state are all mentioned specifically to take part in protecting a child is because article 27 of Rwandan constitution says that family is the foundation of Rwandan society.

This means that your parents or guardians are supposed to try their best to care for you. The government is obligated to step in when your parents or guardians fail.

In fact, article 26 of law no.54/2011 of 14/12/2011 relating to the rights and protection of the child talks about the government’s responsibility to provide assistance to poor parents or guardians.

It says, “The Government shall, depending on its means, establish a mechanism to assist indigent persons who provide parental responsibility to the child, in order to allow them to meet their obligations of providing him or her with what he or she needs in terms of his or her nutrition, health care, education, clothing and housing.”

The condition stated is that the government shall provide the assistance according to its means. This is important to remember. Just like some parents cannot provide everything, the government also cannot provide everything because the money wouldn’t be enough for everyone.

One way in which Rwanda has provided social security for children is including medical insurance as one of the rights of children.

Article 45 of the law relating to the rights and protection of the child says that every child who is on the Rwandan territory must have medical insurance.

 

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