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Twenty children from EAC member states join their Rwandan counterparts for 10th National Children’s Summit

Twenty children from EAC member states join their Rwandan counterparts for 10th National Children’s Summit

Twenty children from EAC member states join their Rwandan counterparts for 10th National Children's Summit

Kigali, 18 November 2014

Activities to mark the tenth National Children’s Summit kicked off today with an exhibition reflecting the efforts and achievements made in promoting and protecting child rights in Rwanda. The exhibition is taking place at Petit Stade in Kigali.

Under the theme, “20 Years and Beyond: Advancing Child Rights in Rwanda”, this year’s summit will bring together more than 500 children from across the country who will be joined by twenty others from East Africa Community member states. The children will convene in Kigali to participate in the national event, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Speaking at a press briefing earlier today, Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzingwa, said that twenty years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda is celebrating the progress made and mapping out ways to better protect and promote the rights of all children in Rwanda.

“There is much to be celebrated considering the tremendous progress registered in sectors such as health, education and social security, to name but a few. These developments lend significantly to the protection and promotion of children’s rights and ensure their participation in Rwanda’s development process,” the Minister said.

Since 2004, Rwanda has successfully organised the National Children’s Summit to ensure meaningful child participation in Rwandan society, helping Rwandan children to gain knowledge on their rights and responsibilities as citizens. The 10th and 25th anniversary of the summit and convention will provide a platform to reflect on the achievements made to date, and address any challenges with regards to child rights and protection. It will also be an occasion for the Government of Rwanda and other stakeholders to review and renew their commitments towards the implementation of policies, programmes and strategies in this area.

Speaking on the event, Zaina Nyiramatama, Executive Secretary of National Commission for Children, said, “Rwanda is now consolidating gains in all sectors of development including the child rights and protection sector where great success has been recorded through policy formulation as well as legal and institutional frameworks.”

UNICEF Representative, Noala Skinner also commended Rwanda for its efforts in developing and implementing programmes that ensure better lives for children, saying, “It shows that children are at the heart of the country’s development.” She also thanked Rwanda’s leadership for enabling UNICEF to accompany the country on its tremendous journey. “Rwanda has shown one hundred per cent commitment to adhering to the CRC principles,” Ms Skinner said.

The National Children’s summit is organised by the National Commission for Children (NCC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, provinces and the City of Kigali. UNICEF, Global Communities, Plan Rwanda and CHF International have provided extensive technical and financial support towards the organisation of the summit.