Parents in Bugesera District are urged fight domestic violence and take care of children, as constant conflicts influence children’s behaviours. They are also called upon to protect minors against consuming alcoholic beverages, abusing illicit drugs and prevent early and unwanted pregnancies through sex education.
The message from AIP Cyprien Uwitonze, the District Community Liaison Officer (DCLO) of Bugesera, was addressed in a meeting in Mareba secondary schools, to which about 300 parents attended.
Although some children drink alcohol out of peer influence, others engage in such because they are either neglected by parents and guardians or are given no attention.
“Effective parenting means being concerned about the emotional, social and physical wellbeing of children,” AIP Uwitonze said.
The DCLO also briefed them on laws that prohibit sale of alcoholic drinks to under-aged children, and reminded them that the implementation of such legal instruments is their responsibility as well.
AIP Uwitonze further noted that most of the children who end up on the street come from homes which have constant conflicts which do not give the child peace of mind, support and parental guidance.
Germaine Uwamariya, one of the parents reiterated that parents and teachers to take the responsibility and work together to guide children and fight child abuse.
Article 227 of penal code talks about child neglect by a parent or guardian without reasonable cause, and related penalty.
A parent or a guardian who neglects a child without reasonable cause to the extent that the health, security and the living conditions are seriously jeopardized or a child under care indulges in vagrancy shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of at least two (2) months but less than six (6) months and a fine of one hundred thousand (100,000) to one million (1,000,000) Rwandan francs or one of these penalties.
A parent or a guardian who jeopardizes the education of his/her child or that of a child under his/her guardianship through ill-treatment, parental drunkenness or misconduct shall be liable to the penalty provided under Paragraph One of this Article.
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Jean Baptiste Karegeya
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