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Optional protocolon a Communication Procedure
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings and day care.
Overview of the child rights situation

The Rwanda report indicates that many improvements have already taken place in recent years. Both the immunization rate and the number of children attending school have increased. However, especially in remote areas, there is still no access to running water or adequate housing. The inclusion of children with disabilities is also still in need of improvement.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee notes with appreciation the integration of reproductive health education into primary and secondary school curricula and the decriminalization of abortion for adolescent girls. Nonetheless, the Committee is concerned about the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy, the limited access to comprehensive reproductive health education and services, including contraceptives, the inaccessibility of safe abortion services for adolescent girls, due to the requirement that they have the consent of and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and the fear of criminalization.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee urges the State party to develop initiatives to reconnect Batwa children with their ancestral habitats and cultural practices, combat all forms of discrimination faced by Batwa children and ensure that, in law and practice, Batwa children have full and equal access to education, adequate housing, health care and all other services without discrimination.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is seriously concerned that school curricula are not adapted for children with disabilities and there is an inadequate number of teachers who are qualified to provide inclusive education for children with disabilities. Also, children with disabilities continue to face discrimination and are not effectively integrated into all areas of social life.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to Rwanda to amend legislation to ensure that the protection of children with disabilities extends to all types of disabilities, including intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. Furthermore, Rwanda should guarantee all children the right to inclusive education in integrated classes, with accessible environments and curricula, adequately trained teachers and professionals to provide individual support.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party ensure that all reception centres for asylum-seeking and refugee children are child-friendly and that all unaccompanied and separated children have prompt access to national refugee status determination procedures. Also, Rwanda should investigate any reports of alleged disappearance of children, in particular adolescent girls, from refugee camps, establish their whereabouts and prosecute those responsible for crimes involved in such disappearance.
Free kindergartenNot clear
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee commends the State party for the significant increase in Internet access coverage and the adoption of the child online policy. The Committee recommends that the State party continue to expand access to the Internet and to information for children in disadvantaged or vulnerable situations and ensure that children are protected from online risks, including by providing training on the child online policy to relevant stakeholders and putting into place online safety measures.
physical health

The Committee commends the State party for achieving high rates of immunization and health insurance coverage. To achieve the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party improve access to high-quality health care, obstetric care and nutrition services for children, including through the allocation of sufficient financial resources for health infrastructure and the training of community health workers to address the specific needs of children and adolescents.

Concerning adolescent health, the Committee is concerned about increased rates of drug use and mental health conditions among adolescents. Rwanda should address the issue of drug use and substance abuse by children and adolescents by, inter alia, providing children and adolescents with accurate and objective information on preventing substance abuse, including tobacco and alcohol, and developing accessible and youth-friendly drug dependence treatment and harm reduction services for children and adolescents.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee recommends to the State party to ensure that all adolescents have access to confidential mental health services.

Business sector

Noting with deep concern the few sanctions applied to perpetrators of violations relating to child labour, the Committee recommends that Rwanda significantly increases the human, technical and financial resources allocated to labour inspections in order to fully, regularly and effectively implement the laws and policies on child labour, particularly in the agricultural sector, prosecute any perpetrators of violations relating to child labour and increase sanctions.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is deeply concerned about the lack of judges specialized in handling cases concerning child justice, reports of the ill-treatment and beatings of children during pretrial detention and the fact that children are often held with adults. To improve the situation for children, the Committee urges the State party to designate specialized judges for children in all courts and ensure that, in cases where detention is unavoidable, children are not detained together with adults, and that detention conditions comply with international standards, including with regard to access to food, health services and education.

Specific observations

The Committee recommends that the State party respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and ensure to every child the right to practice freely his or her religion or belief.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the fifth and sixth periodic reports released on 28 February 2020.
Last Updated (date)27th of February, 2022