By Elias Hakizimana.
In a bid to tackle child labour, sexual abuse and child violence World Vision Rwanda has launched a five-year campaign with $2 million investment that will support current initiatives of the government of Rwanda in this battle.
George Moses Kwihangana, in charge of advocacy activities in World Vision Rwanda said during the launch that the budget for the campaign is a five-year projection in which the ministry of gender and family promotion (MIGEPROF), National Children Commission (NCC), USAID and other partners will be contributing.
World vision itself made $2 million at the beginning to use in five years and this will be increased according to Kwihangana.
“World Vision operates in 16 districts of Rwanda and it is the reason why we wanted to involve MIGEPROF and NCC so that other partners can put in efforts to implement the project, other partners like UNICEF can contribute in achieving such vital goals in remaining districts” he said
The campaign dubbed “It Takes every Rwandan to End Child Exploitation” follows the recent survey on Child labour survey by the ministry of labour and it gave a way to World Vision to intervene and put in efforts to cater for well-being of the children.
12 percent of girls aged between 15-19 faced defilement, among them 50percent had unwanted pregnancies.
Besides, the labor-force survey-pilot, NISR, 2016), reveals that the percentage of working children of 14 to 17 years old was 30.7percent, almost half of them working with pay in an employment activity.
Also, 29 percent of the total number of children in Rwanda aged between 5 and 14 years old had been victims of child labor according to UNICEF’s World’s Children 2016 Report dubbed ‘A fair chance for every child’.
Child labor and sexual abuse are among the violence crimes against children which the campaign targets to eliminate.
Findings in the Ministry of Health’s 2017 Violence against Children and Youth Survey established that 48 percent of females aged 18-24 faced experienced unwanted sex in childhood and 51 percent of those aged 19-24 reported pregnancy as a result.
In the latter report, 83% of females aged 18-24 who had experienced sexual violence befor
Kwihangana said that the most pressing issue on why the crimes are rampant in the society is attributed to the social norms as people prefer to keep quiet whenever they occur.
He challenged people to give timely report on such cases and reject that spirit.
The campaign will be mobilizing the community and teach families by availing information about issues of child labour and sexual abuse to help government entities make decisions up on these threats, officials said.
The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Esperance Nyirasafari said that this campaign will support the current initiatives to fight against children violence.
“We currently working with World Vision but this campaign will particularly focus on ending child labour and sexual abuse against children. There will be a strong mobilization where officials will engage discussions on how to end these threats,” she said.
“We will partner and look how to take back school children who dropped out and were forced in child labour, children who faced sexual abuse will be assisted and we will use available capacity to put them in TVET schools and support them starting small and medium projects for those who cannot go back to school,” Nyirasafari added.
She also said they intended to explain the works that children are not allowed to do, which can harm their lives, like in mines, fisheries among others.
“Parents who give them such jobs and employers who employ them will also be punished,” she warned.
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