© UNICEF Rwanda/2015/Mugabe
Rwanda has one of the best child wellbeing indicators in Africa, and was one of the first countries in the world to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
“It is every child’s right to live in a loving family and protective environment.” - Nicole, 9 years old, Kigali
Rwanda’s success in this area is largely the result of strong laws and policies – many of which have been developed with support from UNICEF – which help to create an environment that is highly favourable to the protection of children and the advancement of their rights. Among the key steps taken on behalf of Rwandan children in recent years are the establishment of a National Commission for Children, which is dedicated to the promotion and protection of children’s rights; and the launch of a Strategy for National Child Care Reform, which aims to get children out of orphanages and other residential care facilities and integrate them into families that are supported to provide care.
UNICEF is among the Government of Rwanda’s key partners in preventing and responding to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable, including children without parental care and children with disabilities.
- Since 2013, through the UNICEF-supported Tubarerere Mu Muryango programme (‘Let’s Raise Children in Families’), 2,470 children who were living in orphanages have been reintegrated into family-based care.
- In 2013, UNICEF supported the capacity-building and deployment of a cadre of 68 social workers and psychologists, who now represent the first-ever Government of Rwanda-led social welfare workforce in the country.
- A new cadre of community-based para-professionals (Inshuti z’Umuryango, or ‘Friends of the Family’) was established in 2015, with continuing support from UNICEF, and tasked with the provision of child and family protection services at the village level.
- UNICEF supported the adoption of the Justice for Children Policy, which has led to a more child-friendly justice system for children in contact or conflict with the law.
- More than 5,000 children who were victims of abuse and gender-based violence have received free assistance through the Isange One Stop Centres, an innovative country-led response to violence and abuse. The centres, which UNICEF helped to establish, provide a range of comprehensive services, including medical care, psychosocial support and police and legal assistance.
- UNICEF helped to strengthen preparedness for and capacity to respond to cross-border movements of children related to emergencies and child trafficking.
- UNICEF is a key participant in the National Partnership for Children with Disabilities, which was established to effectively coordinate services and programmes targeting children with disabilities.