Understanding Violence Against Children in Rwanda
Violence against children in all its forms (physical, emotional, and sexual) is a profound violation of human rights and has devastating short- and long-term mental and physical effects (UN Secretary-General's Study on Violence against Children).This violence is a concern in sub-Saharan Africa. And while there have been many initiatives to address it, studies evaluating the situation remain limited. There is a clear need for evidence to support advocacy, inform national planning and budgeting, and monitor impact. Violence against children is preventable. Developing and implementing effective prevention strategies, however, requires timely and more complete data to offer insights into the range of risk and protective factors that influence this violence. This research seeks to provide, for the first time, comparable, national population-based estimates to describe the magnitude and nature of the problem for the children of Rwanda. It will include an in-depth qualitative study assessing children living with disabilities to gain a richer understanding of specific issues facing this vulnerable group. The research team will work with children and young people between 13 and 24 years of age to: -describe the problem's magnitude; -identify potential risk and protective factors for violence against children; -assess how much people know about and use health, legal, welfare, and other services for victims of violence; and, -make recommendations to improve and enhance interventions. The goal of these efforts will be to better identify and prevent violence against children, and to ensure access to services. The recommendations will target sectors beyond the health sector and inform national policies, laws, and programs to prevent violence against children. Rwanda's Ministry of Health will collaborate with the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, the National Commission for Children, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF to deliver the project. It will also help develop local capacity in data collection and analysis, policy recommendation development, and effective knowledge translation.