Children have called on parents and the population as a whole to guarantee them their rights.
They were speaking at the beginning of a three-day preparatory meeting, in Karenge sector in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province, ahead of the annual National Children’s Summit.
The pre-summit meetings are held in various sectors across the country to gather views that will be discussed in the summit scheduled for due early next year.
Elysée Uragijumutima, who spoke on behalf of the children in the sector, pointed a finger at parents who don’t accord their children their due rights and opportunities, saying some parents still favour boys over girls.
“All parents and any other responsible citizen should fight child labour because it’s one of the major challenges still facing children, especially in the rural areas” Uragijumutima said.
He appealed to parents and the government to fight drugs, especially among children, which he said is one of the factors that help breed street children.
Ruth Nyirandegeya, another child participant, told The New Times that some parents fail to pay school fees and medical insurance (Mutuelle de Santé) for their children because of wasting money on alcohol, saying that there is need to put in place mechanisms to address such issues.
Louise Mutesi, a pupil at Karenge primary school, said: “Parents should adopt family planning methods because this will help them produce children who they can provide for”.
The children who attended the function also asked the government to extend the One-Laptop –Per-Child programme to all children, across the country, which they said will help promote ICT skills among the young generation.