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All Burundians are called upon to contribute to the protection of children


Jun 21, 2022

BUJUMBURA June 20th (ABP) – 919 children were victims of harmful practices affecting children last year, announced Mr. Yves Ishimwe, in charge of programs at the National Federation of Associations engaged in the sector of children in Burundi (FENADEB). It was in a panel of experts organized by this institution, on Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Bujumbura, on the subject of children’s rights in Burundi; on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the World Day of the African Child celebrated on June 16 of each year.

In his interview with the media, Mr. Ishimwe indicated that 481 children were victims of human trafficking and 321 of sexual violence. 75 cases of murder of children, including those committed by their mothers after childbirth, and 42 cases of illegal imprisonment of children have been recorded in Burundi during the past year, he added.

Among the harmful practices against children, the consultant expert in child protection, Mr. Pierre Nkurikiye cited female genital mutilation, as well as tolerance towards violence against girls, which are added to the four mentioned above, specifying that most of these acts affect young girls more than boys. According to him, these acts are based on Burundian beliefs and traditions, as it appears in some proverbs and expressions of Kirundi.

The low investment in the said sector is a cause of many problems such as the overcrowding of children in the classrooms of the various schools, the lack of desks, the malnutrition of the majority of children, as well as the increase in children streets, said expert Nkurikiye.

While noting the alarming number of street children in Burundi which has risen to 7,000, resulting in this low investment, Mr. Nkurikiye indicated that the part of the State budget dedicated to this sector is still minimal. From 2011 until 2022, this budget was only around 2.6% of the state budget, he explains. That expert also added that State partners working in this sector are not as present in actions as before 2015. He pointed out that their aid constitutes only 14% of the budget of this sector from 2018 while until the beginning of 2015, this aid was up to 59%.

He recommends the competent authorities to redouble their efforts to sensitize families on the subject of child protection. It also calls for programs related to the rights of the child to be introduced in schools in order to eradicate harmful practices against children.