The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, has given assurances that the government would soon address many problems faced by vulnerable groups through integrating their needs in all government programmes.
Mujawamariya made the pledge during a two-day seminar organized by Rwandan Parliamentarians for the Population’s Development (RPRPD) that began yesterday at the Parliamentary buildings.
The Seminar attended by lawmakers from both Chambers of Parliament, government officials, and members of the Civil Society among other stakeholders, is aimed at seeking ways to promote the social welfare of vulnerable groups by integrating their needs in the social economic development process.
Mujawamariya said that the government has an all-encompassing programme to have all people categorized as ‘vulnerable’ equally involved in the development process through capacity building programmes aimed at empowering them to have the same rights as other citizens.
The Minister explained that government programmes such as the Vision 2020 and the Economic Development Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDRPS) do not marginalize any group of persons while affirmative action is taken where necessary to see that groups such as women, children, Genocide survivors, widows, youths and Persons with Disabilities are not left behind.
She however said that it remains an uphill task to deal with the many cases of vulnerable people in the country adding that everything was being done to have most of the problems they face mainstreamed and addressed through collaboration between the ministries, local authorities and other stakeholders.
The Minister of State for Community Development and Social Welfare, Christine Nyatanyi said that MINALOC through the National ID Office will be running a national database with details of each individual and their social status for easy identification.
This followed complaints by MPs about individuals who masquerade as vulnerable persons or caretakers of vulnerable persons including orphans to claim assistance which they divert to their personal businesses at the expense of the needy.
Nyatanyi said that such individuals will be dealt with by the law.
In the same development, Mujawamariya said that there’s a strategy in place to deal with those who are involved in criminal activities of using child labour which has continued to be a serious challenge to society.
She said the Ministry and other law enforcement agencies have agreed to coordinate in unearthing cases of child labour and apprehending those promoting it.
She said that children will also be sensitized to report cases to the nearest authorities when they are coerced into child labour by adults.
Opening the two-day event, the president of the Senate, Vincent Biruta, said that as the representatives of the people, it is necessary to advocate for the rights and welfare of vulnerable groups as stipulated in article 14 of the Constitution.
He said that the government is determined to help vulnerable groups through social-economic programmes such as Ubudehe, Girinka (One Cow Per Household), Mutuelle de Sante ( the Communal Health Insurance scheme) and many others.