MPs raise concern over children with incurable diseases, born in prisons

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MPs raise concern over children with incurable diseases, born in prisons
MPs raise concern over children with incurable diseases, born in prisons

Africa-PressRwanda. The Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, October 13, requested the Ministry of Health to expedite the establishment of the Order determining modalities by which a child infected or affected by an incurable disease benefits from special protection and assistance of the government.

This is provided for in article 20 of the law of 2018 relating to the protection of the child. It also requested the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion to expedite the establishment of Orders provided for in article 16 and 17 of the law.

These are some of the resolutions that the Plenary Sitting of the Lower Chamber of Parliament made as it adopted the Committee on Unity, Human Rights and Fight against Genocide’s assessment report on the implementation of the above-mentioned law.

Normally, Orders that enable the implementation of the law are established within two months after the law is published in the Official Gazette. However, these ones have not yet been put in place three years after.

MP Francis Karemera, the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Unity, Human Rights and Fight against Genocide, said that the Committee realised the implementation of the provisions of those articles was hindered by the lack of the ministerial Orders in question.

Article 16 states that a child deprived of the family is placed in a foster family, and that an Order of the Minister determines the modalities for this. Article 17 of the law talks about the placement of a child in a social welfare institution.

It provides that a child is placed in a social welfare institution if he/she is deprived of his/her parents and has not yet found a foster family; he/she is born in prison and at three years of age none of his/her relatives has accepted to receive him/her.

Other factors include that the court has ordered the placement of the child but another foster family is not yet found for him/her; he/she is a vagrant or a beggar while procedures to identify his/her parents are still in process, or there are sound reasons indicating that the child is facing specific problems and no family is ready to receive him/her.

An Order of the Minister determines modalities for the creation of social welfare institutions, requirements to be met by those institutions and modalities for their supervision. MP Frank Habineza said children who do not have parents or were born in prisons used to be taken care of by orphanages which were phase-out.

“In case the social welfare institutions have not yet been established, I was wondering whether this should not be reconsidered so that the orphanages be reinstated to help address the problem,” he said.

MP Aimée Sandrine Uwambaje wondered what was being based on to place children in foster families if the order determining the modalities to be followed are not yet issued.

Overall, the Parliament said that a lot has been done in line with ensuring the protection of child rights including early childhood development in general, but more needs to register greater gains in this regard.

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