International Justice Mission (IJM), an American non- governmental organisation, has launched a two-year project to deal with cases of sexually assaulted children within Kigali City.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Lane Mears, the IJM Country Director, said that the NGO focuses on protecting people from any form of injustice, mainly through ensuring that public justice systems work for the poor.
“The main objective of this child sexual assault (CSA) casework project is not only to provide services to individual victims but also raise awareness of this issue and mobilise the community to respond,” Mears said.
He noted that the project aims at providing comprehensive and sustainable relief to CSA victims in Kigali City by coupling legal intervention with holistic, individualised treatment plans to rehabilitate victims.
He pointed out that IJM will also provide legal representation to victims of injustice, support police to investigate cases of injustice and work with prosecution and also offer trauma counseling services to the victims.
He added that when government, NGOs and other community leaders work together to address violent oppression, the victimisation of innocent people dramatically decreases.
Christine Akayezu from Gasabo District and a beneficiary of IJM said: “I thank IJM for its outstanding partnership with government because they helped to bring to book a man who impregnated me while I was a teenager.”
She added that IJM also provides financial and medical support to her and her child, which she said has helped to improve her social welfare.
The Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama said: “I thank IJM for launching this important project because it’s a vulnerable area that requires concentrated and focused attention.”
He added that the government is committed to making justice accessible to all Rwandans .
He asked IJM to always sensitise the population about their rights, saying that this would help them to live a peaceful and harmonious life.