Of the things that could derail you or your friend from achieving your full potential, alcohol is one of the most dangerous.
Leave alone the long-term health effects, when you are drunk, your judgment is highly impaired and you are likely to make a terrible mistake you could have avoided.
For this reason, you should stay away from places and people that might cause you to be tempted into taking up the habit of drinking alcohol. And as a child, you have a right to be protected from such places and such people.
Article 44 of the law relating to the rights and the protection of the child which talks about protection measures for the health of the child states: “Parent, guardian and any other person must refrain from giving, selling to a child alcoholic drinks or any other form of drugs or asking him/her to bring such products. They shall also refrain from causing the child to work in any place where such products are offered for sale.”
Article 44 further explains that any person organizing a party which children attend shall ensure they do not take alcoholic drinks or any other form of drugs. It also states that a child shall not enter any place where alcoholic drinks are sold or consumed unless he/she is accompanied.
At the same time, it is stated in article 44 that “A child also shall not enter places where night clubs are held and alcoholic drinks or drugs are consumed even if he/she is accompanied.”
Should any person endanger you by breaching the provisions of the article discussed above, that person shall be punishable with penalties provided for by the penal code.
In case you’re wondering what the penal code has to say about this, article 219 relates to offering alcoholic beverages or tobacco to a child.
It states: “Any person who offers or sells alcoholic beverages or tobacco to a child or involves him/her in the sale of such products shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of at least three (3) months but less than six (6) months and a fine of three hundred thousand (300,000) to one million (1,000,000) Rwandan francs or one of these penalties.”
The penalties shall also apply to any person who encourages a child to drink alcoholic beverages or to smoke or to go to bars.
So if you or your friend find yourself in a situation that forces you to be at risk of drinking alcohol, do not hesitate to contact the authorities.