Rwandaâ€™s First Lady Pushes For Global Child ProtectionÂ
Echoes of justices for children around the world are blowing from Rwanda, as the countryâ€™s First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, demands mothers do more to protect children against rape and defilement.
â€œAs a mother of four and a concerned citizen of the world, I continue to be appalled when looking at the numbers of abused and exploited children worldwide,â€ she said.
UNICEF says more than 1 in 10 girls worldwide â€“ some 120 million girls â€“ have experienced sexual violence.
In early adolescence, one third of students suffer bullying. Among adolescent boys in low and middle-income countries, at least 1 out of 4 boys has been a victim of physical violence since the age of 15.
Mrs. Kagame said this; â€œShould be a wake-up call for all of us, especially when considering that perpetrators may include friends, parents, and teachers, reminding us that often, those who pose the most dangers to our children, are not always strangers, but can be the people entrusted with their care.â€
She told the United Nations High Level Meeting on â€œChildren and Sustainable Development Goals: Giving every child a chanceâ€ in New York, United States on Thursday, September 24, that Rwanda experienced violence thus in position to know what abuse means.
In 1994, Rwanda experienced genocide against Tutsi in which over 1 million people died, mostly children. “During the Genocide rape was used as a weapon of war,” she said.
The first lady called upon nations to ensure achieving sustainable development goal of â€œending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.â€
In 2001 Rwanda passed major law reforms including the law for Rights and Protection of the Child against Violence. This was closely followed by the establishment of the Child and Family Protection Unit in the National Police system.
â€œHaving inherited hundreds of thousands of orphans from the genocide, this issue has a very particular resonance with Rwandans,â€ Mrs. Kagame said: “I founded Imbuto Foundation, catering for most fragile groups. One of our campaigns inspired by the notion of treating every child as your own was called â€˜Malayika Murinziâ€™ or Guardian Angel.â€
The foundation has so far nurtured and supported over 4,000 girls and boys with academic assistance and leadership skills.
Meanwhile, the First Lady earlierÂ on TuesdayÂ toured the Bush museum, which showcases a portrait of Laura W. Bush made in Rwanda with banana leaves. The First Lady also joined other advocates for the active inclusion of women in economic matters at The Laura Bush Center for Womenâ€™s Health.