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Rwanda, 17 May 2018: Multi-sectoral efforts increase to prevent and respond to violence against children and youth

KIGALI, Rwanda, 17 May 2018 – Violence against children is a fundamental violation of their rights. The Government of Rwanda is calling upon everyone to join efforts to #ENDviolence against children and young people. This can be sexual, physical or emotional violence, which all leave scars that can last a child’s lifetime.

The call is made during the dissemination of the Violence against Children and Youth Survey (VACYS) report conducted in 2015-2016. The study, which was supported by UNICEF Rwanda, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is showing how Rwanda is committed to protecting children and youth from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect.

“This survey is an important foundation for developing prevention strategies and for improving services for victims. The Government recognizes the importance of a multi-sectoral approach to prevent and respond to violence against children, especially given its impact on human capital and economic development,” said Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi, State Minister in Charge of Public Health and Primary HealthCare.

When children are victims of violence, the effects can extend beyond physical scars. In addition to serious injuries, children who are victims of violence are also likely to miss or abandon school, or experience psychological distress. In some cases, this distress can even lead to thoughts of suicide. Addressing current instances of violence is also essential to protecting future generations. The study found that boys are more likely to abuse other children if they are victims of violence themselves, and that young people, especially girls themselves, believe women should tolerate violence to keep families together.

“UNICEF is committed to ending violence against children and young people. We commend the Government for completing this important study, and pledge our full support to develop and implement the National Plan of Action in response to these survey findings. Violence against children is preventable. It is everyone’s responsibility to take urgent action to fight it,” said Oliver Petrovic, officiating UNICEF Representative in Rwanda.

The National Plan of Action that will be developed from the findings will include multi-sectoral interventions to prevent and respond to violence against children and young people.


For further information please contact:

Malick Kayumba, Rwanda Health Communications Center / Tel: +250 788 350 035,

Gaspard Habarurema, Rwanda Health Communications Center / Tel: +250 788 358 243,

Rajat Madhok, UNICEF Rwanda / Tel: +250 788 301 419,

Cyriaque Ngoboka, UNICEF Rwanda / Tel: +250 788 305 221,



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