Norma relacionada
Rwanda
Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Rwanda’s Law Relating to Rights and Protection of the Child against Violence (2001) provides:
Article: 1
For the purpose of this law, a child is anybody aged below eighteen (18) years with the exception of what is provided for in other laws.
Article: 23
The child should be cared for and rescued first in times of misfortune and war. 
Rwanda, Law Relating to Rights and Protection of the Child against Violence, 2001, Articles 1 and 23.
In 2010, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Rwanda stated:
24. … Rwanda formulated a national policy on orphans and other vulnerable children since January 2003. This policy contains strategies and measures to respond to various situations of vulnerability of the child …
25. Specific objectives of the Policy on these children are the following:
(a) To guarantee the respect of the rights of the child during and after conflict situations. 
Rwanda, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 6 December 2011, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/RWA/1, submitted 20 January 2010, §§ 24 and 25(a).
In 2010, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Rwanda stated:
42. With regard to the conformity of the implementation of the [2000] Optional Protocol [on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict] to the general principles of the [1989] Convention on the Rights of the Child, the following should be noted.
53. Rwanda abolished capital punishment [Organic Law No. 24/2007 of 27 June 2007 on the Abolition of Death Sentence] and it should be noted that even before the adoption of this measure, capital punishment was not rendered against persons aged less than 18 years because Article 77 of the Penal Code [(1977)] exempted minors from capital punishment. The results of this provision was that when a person aged between 14 years and 18 years at the time of offence was liable to the death penalty or to life imprisonment, his/her sentence was commuted to 20 years in prison. In addition, the Penal Code of Rwanda prohibited the execution of an expectant mother before delivery (Article 31). 
Rwanda, Initial Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 6 December 2011, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/RWA/1, submitted 20 January 2010, §§ 42 and 53.
[footnote in original omitted]
In 2003, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Rwanda stated:
317. Some children under the age of 18 were enrolled in the armed forces during the war and genocide of 1994. Immediately after the war, all these children were demobilized and a programme of rehabilitation and school reintegration was implemented with the support of international sponsors, as suggested by the spirit of Convention No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, which has been ratified by the Rwandan Government.
318. Other children serving with the armed bands of infiltrators from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are often captured by the Rwandan army and sent to solidarity camps for re-education and reintegration into society. As of 30 July 2001, the Mudende solidarity camp housed 273 ex-combatant minors, aged from 12 to 18. A programme of assistance to these minors has been drawn up and MINALOC [Ministry of Local Administration and Social Affairs], in cooperation with UNICEF, the World Food programme and Assoferwa, has, starting on 11 August 2001, transferred these children to the Gitagata centre so that they can be cared for, re-educated and taught a trade. 
Rwanda, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc CRC/C/70Add.22, 8 October 2003, §§ 317–318.
In 2010, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Rwanda stated:
I. Summary
4. … Rwanda ratified the [2000] Protocol [on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict] following the liberation war that began in 1990 and culminated in the Tutsi Genocide in 1994. The war and the Tutsi Genocide have deeply affected Rwandan children. Some of them were involved or are still involved in armed conflicts. They were initially Genocide survivor children who joined RPF [Rwanda Patriotic Front] in search of security and then Rwandan children belonging to armed groups in DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo].
5. At the time of the drafting of this report, Rwanda is in the demobilisation phase in which children have been given special attention. Their demobilisation began in 1997 with children who had taken refuge in RPA [Rwanda Patriotic Front] and it has currently been extended to children belonging to armed groups in DRC who are disarmed and repatriated to be reintegrated into the society.
6. The present report contains political and legislative measures that were taken by the Government of Rwanda in the framework of the implementation of the Protocol. However, since all these measures ensure that any person under eighteen years of age should not be in the army, the application of the Protocol concerns especially the demobilisation and social reintegration of children who were involved in armed conflicts.
7. Measures taken in this area include the creation of a Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, which has a child protection unit, as well as the establishment of a demobilisation camp specifically for children. The camp receives children repatriated from DRC but the remaining major handicap is that these children come in very small numbers since armed groups continue to keep them in their rank and file.
III. General information
B. General Measures of implementation of the Protocol
1. Policy measures
24. … Rwanda formulated a national policy on orphans and other vulnerable children since January 2003. This policy contains strategies and measures to respond to various situations of vulnerability of the child. Under the National Policy on Orphans and other Vulnerable Children, children affected by armed conflicts are displaced, kidnapped or refugee children who are forced by the war, genocide, poverty or armed groups to take part in armed conflicts. Children who take part in armed conflicts are not only those who fight on the frontline, but also informers, cooks, carriers and others.
25. Specific objectives of the Policy on these children are the following:
(c) To reintegrate children affected by conflicts into their communities.
26. To achieve these objectives, the following strategies are used:
(a) To demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers;
(b) To establish monitoring mechanisms for reintegrated children;
(c) To promote the culture of peace, reconciliation, tolerance and conflict resolution by negotiation.
C. Factors and difficulties that hinder the fulfilment of obligations provided for in the Protocol
41. The implementation of the Protocol is faced with constraints of which the major one is the low rate of the repatriation of Rwandan children enrolled in armed groups operating in RDC [Democratic Republic of the Congo]. This low rate of repatriation is due to the fact that the armed groups keep children in their ranks and prevent them from being disarmed, demobilized and repatriated and from eventually being reintegrated into the civilian life. Out of 2500 children that are estimated to belong to armed groups in DRC, only 702 have been repatriated. At the time of writing the present report, 661 children had been reintegrated in their families or in foster families while Muhazi Centre hosts 41 children.
IV. Specific measures of implementation of the Protocol
73. … Beyond the national territory, Rwandan children involved in armed conflicts in neighbouring countries, in particular in DRC, have been disarmed and demobilised and are hence repatriated to be reintegrated into the society. The Government uses intensive diplomatic measures both at the national level and international level so that children held hostages are identified and repatriated.
Article 5: Provisions of the national legislation or international instruments and international humanitarian law applicable to Rwanda that promote most the respect of the rights of the child; the state of ratification by Rwanda of major international instruments on the participation of children in armed conflicts and other commitments entered into by the country in this area
2. Paragraph 3: Measures adopted on disarmament, demobilization (or relieve from military obligations) and the provision of suitable assistance for physical and psychological re-adaptation and social reintegration of children, taking into account the specific situation of girls
(a) Measures adopted on disarmament, demobilization (or relieve from military obligations)
124. In this area, Rwanda established a Commission called Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, created by Presidential Decree N°37/01 of 09 April 2002.
125. In the framework of the World Bank’s Multi-Country Demobilization and reintegration Programme (MDRP), Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme (PRDR) was adopted in 2002 with the following objectives:
(a) To assemble ex-combatants identified and repatriated by UNMIC [United Nations Mission for the Democratic Republic of Congo], i.e. to verify their status, nationality and age as well as enable them to benefit [from] demobilisation and reintegration programmes;
(b) To monitor and coordinate reintegration activities in families and communities;
(c) To sensitize and prepare decentralized authorities to receive and care for ex-combatant children;
(d) To ensure monitoring after reintegration;
(e) To provide appropriate assistance to ensure physical [and] psychological re-adaptation and social reintegration of children.
126. After their arrival at the demobilization camp, children receive basic personal effects. Children also receive basic care, as some of them will have been wounded by bullets or suffer from various infections. The centre has a dispensary for this purpose.
127. Psychosocial support is also provided for. This is why in the programme called Post Traumatic Stressed Disorders (PTSD), each child meets a social worker once a week and their session last at least for three hours. The centre has two social workers, a man and a woman.
128. Still on health care, Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission has signed an agreement with Ruhengeri Hospital, Kigali Central Hospital and University hospital (CHUK), Kanombe Military hospital to provide health care to ex-soldier children during the process of demobilization and reintegration. The Commission meets the cost of medical care for children who have serious infections that require follow-up after reintegration, for a period of 12 months maximum.
129. In the demobilization centres, children receive a balanced diet. Children learn how to read, write and to count and this prepares the younger among them to resume normal education, once reintegrated into the society. They also receive other lessons among which civic education.
130. These school activities begin immediately on arrival at the camp where each child receives uniform identical to that of pupils of primary school. The centre has a permanent teacher, while others are external and are provided by decentralised authorities, depending on the lessons offered.
131. In addition, children are allowed to play, sing, dance, watch films, etc. the centre has football and volley ball grounds, game’s halls, a television with a video tape recorder. The centre is also open to the surrounding population who may equally benefit from these social activities and this provides an opportunity for children to socialise and familiarize themselves with the environment in which they are being prepared to live.
133. These activities in the demobilization camp are accompanied by Family Tracing, i.e. the research for families or families close to the children since the centre only serves as [a] transit place. The National policy on the matter is that every child should have a family.
Family Tracing is carried out in collaboration with ICRC which must each time obtain the opinion of the child.
134. The ex-soldier child who has just been demobilized may reintegrate the civil life through various options:
(a) Handing over the child to its parents (father and mother) or to the one of the two surviving parents (ideal option);
(b) Hand over the child to a foster family (Fostering);
(c) Group home that consists in grouping a limited number of children of (3, 4, or 5) in one family;
(d) Independent life (A child with its own household).
(e) Institutionalization, i.e. putting the child in an orphanage or in a centre for other vulnerable children.
135. Of all these options, ex-soldier children reintegrated until now were received by their families (nuclear or extended family). For children whose families were traced, there exists a reunification ceremony to which local authorities and the surrounding community are invited …
(i) Specific Situation of Girls
140. In connection with ex-girl soldiers and according to the data of RDRC [Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission], only 2 girls were officially demobilised …
141. If only two girls have been until now officially repatriated and have been reintegrated, it does not mean that armed groups do not use girls aged less than eighteen years in their activities. However, most [of] the ex-fighting girls prefer to clandestinely regain the civilian life as they prefer to keep this part of their worry to keep hidden this part of past “under military service” hidden as in most cases this traumatizing past is considered as a source of scorn and a shame by the society in which these children have to relive.
142. As for RDRP [Rwandan Demobilization and Reintegration Programme], it does not make any distinction of beneficiary children and despite that there are very few girls demobilized through the official process designed in the framework of this programme, facilities are especially put in place for them at demobilisation centres (separate dormitories and toilet facilities from those of boys, female social worker).
(ii) Children targeted by these measures [and] their participation in designed programmes …
143. Children targeted by this programme are Rwandan children recruited by armed militia operating in DRC. There is also a Burundian child who was repatriated in 2006 and who belonged to FNL [National Forces of Liberation]. The family of this child was traced and the child reunified.
(c) Various measures taken to ensure social rehabilitation of children, for example, temporary care, access to education, and to professional training, reintegration in the family and in the community and relevant legal measures, taking into account specific needs of the children concerned, depending particularly on their age and their sex
164. At the Demobilization Centre itself, the Commission, the child, his parents and local authorities discuss what the child will be able to do, once reintegrate[d] into the society, particularly depending on the age, sex, capacity of the child and the potentialities of the surrounding environment. The choices are particularly directed towards:
(a) Professional training (Trades): There exist a Convention between the Commission and GACULIRO Youth Professional Training Centre where children can learn various trades;
(b) Formal education for the youth;
(c) Income generating activities (IGA). This orientation is preferred by the oldest children. The main activities which they carry out are agriculture and animal keeping and informal trade. 
Rwanda, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 6 December 2011, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/RWA/1, submitted 20 January 2010, §§ 4–7, 24–26, 41, 73, 124–131, 133–135, 140–143 and 164.
[footnotes in original omitted]