Well I always like quoting what I believe in - The Bible. In one of its teachings it says that sparing the rod will spoil the child. The New Times of August 13, reported that the plan of giving legal aid to juvenile offenders has seen “350 cases tried and done with”.
It is such a good initiative to stand for the voiceless, especially the children. The Government of Rwanda should be appreciated for the efforts of ensuring that the rights of these children are met.
A report from UN news center indicates that the UN in Rwanda is working closely with the Government and its partners to enhance juvenile justice in many ways including through building up the capacity of police officers, lawyers and judges in this area.
Now that some of these children who obviously were in conflict with the law have been released and are out of prison, are there any other alternative corrective measures that will be taken against them?
Rwanda has taken noticeable strides in realizing the rights of women and children.
The unfortunate thing is that most of the countries which have emphasized on legal aid for children have seen the children taking advantage of the aid and never stop being in conflict with the law after all someone somewhere will stand for or by them.
Take the western world as an example. School children shooting each other, doing drugs, gang rapes just to mention but a few.
The show stopper is when a child sues his/her parent for caning him or arguing with him. This is definitely a joke in our African culture and not a funny one for that matter.
Well, it is true that putting children behind bars and separating them from their families can seriously damage them but I also feel that having them out there committing the same crimes that put them in prison in the first place can also damage the society.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about what a spoilt child is, particularly grandparents, who say that many modern parents spoil their children, or allow their children to manipulate them.
Parents seem to be more anxious about the whole business of parenting which sometimes manifests itself in over-anxiety to please their children
I am fully in support of the free legal aid for Rwandan children less someone gets me wrong but alternative punishment measure should be realized soon as well. Change is inevitable and no body should be immune to the law.
Discipline should not be seen as a form of punishment or control but as a way of molding the children in an acceptable manner as they are the leaders of tomorrow.
My take is that if a child has guts and energy to do the crimes that the adults are arrested and imprisoned for then he should also have the same energy serving his term behind bars.
Just like the “school boys” who are forced to take responsibility if they impregnate their fellow school mates, the same case should apply.
In the Kenyan Maasai culture, whether a twelve year old boy “unfortunately” impregnates a nine year old girl, he is forced to do what adults do in such an occurrence. Marry the girl.
He is congratulated for performing an adult’s task to perfection as is therefore given the other task of taking the responsibility of his actions.
Let everyone be accountable of their sins!