Legal and Policy Framework for Children’s Rights in Rwanda
This document comprises a brief guide to the institutional, legal and policy framework for the promotion and protection of children’s rights in Rwanda. A strong commitment to children’s rights, was demonstrated in Rwanda, having ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1990 (Appendix One). Rwanda has made excellent progress in ensuring children’s rights with a number of law and policies. The establishment of a National Commission for the Child, and in June 2012 passing a new law Relating to the Rights and Protection of the Child, which is meant to be, in effect, a “Bill of Rights” for Rwandan children. The new law does not cover all aspects of children’s rights, and other laws and policies will need to be amended in order to conform with it. Additionally, the focus on the family within Rwandan policy-making often obscures that child rights can be different and separate from that of the family, and often in conflict. Therefore, although the rights and protection of children should be a cross-cutting issue, this is often hindered by the priority being given to family policy. This report attempts to explore some of the confusion within the current myriad of laws and policies which make some mention of children’s rights. We start by listing the international and regional conventions which Rwanda has ratified. This technically gives them the force of law (and in fact places them second only to the Constitution). The following section details the institutional framework within Rwanda as concerns the rights of children.