Save the Children launches “Accountability for Children’s Rights in Rwanda” project.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Edwin Kuria, D/Operations, Jakob Eilsøe Mikkelsen, Area Representative for SC Denmark,  Tharcisse Niyonzima, Executive Secretary, Rutsiro district, and Ivan Niyiguha, Programme Manager, Children’s Voice Today

Save the Children launched a new project, ‘Accountability for Children’s Rights in Rwanda’ under its Child Rights Governance (CRG) Programme. This launch of the European Union funded project was held on the 10th of February 2016 at Umubano Hotel, Kacyiru and was attended by different child rights stakeholders across the country. Among the stakeholders were government institutions, national and international organizations as well as UN agencies. 

Supporting child focused CSOs and children’s networks in Rwanda to actively hold duty bearers to account for implementation of children’s rights is at the center of this project. For the realization of children’s rights, child focused CSOs will be strengthened to effectively participate in government budgeting processes at local and national level and to engage in social accountability initiatives and the use of international mechanisms.

The project will be implemented by Save the Children in partnership with Children’s Voice Today - CVT, a child-led organization in Rutsiro district in the Western Province and Nyarugenge district in Kigali City, “with national level interventions, for a 3year-period.

The “Accountability for Children’s Rights in Rwanda” project comes with full support towards the Rwandan Government’s initiative of accountable governance on the implementation of child rights across the country. In his remarks, CRG Programme Manager Marcel Sibomana unveiled the overall goal of the project pledging that by 2019, child focused CSOs and children’s networks in Rwanda will be actively holding duty bearers to account for implementation for children’s rights. Sibomana also said that through the project, Save the children will actively engage CSOs to address issues affecting children.  

Marcel said:We will continue to work with the Government of Rwanda and different stakeholders towards full realization of children’s rights in education and protection among others. We will collectively empower children’s groups and networks including the Government established children fora as agents of change to advocate for the most marginalized fellow children.”

Marcel Sibomana, addressing stakeholders at the project launch

The child rights stakeholders also discussed the key areas of public investment in children, Child Rights monitoring and reporting to international child rights mechanisms. Special emphasis was also put on children’s participation in those two areas and building their capacity to effectively engage.

Bob Libert Muchabaiwa, the Investment in Children Manager for Save the Children’s Child Rights Governance Global Initiative, said: “This project presents itself as a huge opportunity for children and civil society to speak out on the need for the Government of Rwanda to place children at the center of public spending decisions at district and national level”.

Muchabaiwa emphasized that investment in children is a legal obligation, and therefore, granting children the full rights they deserve is something we owe to them, but not a favor they demand.  He added that unless concrete measures are taken to equitably allocate sufficient resources and ensure their effective utilization, commitments to children’s rights will only remain empty promises.

Save the children pledged support to the Rwanda CSOs Child Rights Coalition and the children’s networks established in local communities to increase space for open discussion and advocacy on key policy issues related to investment in children and rights of children.