Human Rights Watchdog Urges Rwandan Gov't To Stop Arbitrary Detaining Children

Human Rights Watchdog Urges Rwandan Gov't to Stop Arbitrary Detaining Children

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) The Rwandan government must take immediate measures to stop arbitrarily detaining children, amid allegations of abuse and violence in detention centers, a prominent human rights group said on Friday, citing a recent report by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

"The UN committee's recommendations to the Rwandan government to take concrete steps to prevent the arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of children are important to stop further abuse against some of Rwandan society's most vulnerable children," Human Rights Watch's (HRW) Central African director Lewis Mudge said in a statement.

On Thursday, the UN committee published a report calling on the Rwandan government to stop the detention of children and investigate all allegations of violence against minors by police and officials in the country's transit centers.

According to the rights group, children in Rwanda can be detained for up to six months in transit centers with no legal recourse if they are deemed to be living on the street, as part of legislation introduced in 2017 to combat what the government calls deviant acts or behaviors.

The rights watchdog wrote a letter to Rwanda's Justice Minister Johnston Busingye on February 6, requesting the right to visit the Gikondo transit center in the capital of Kigali. Busingye has not responded, the group stated.

"Instead of issuing blanket denials, the government should make much-needed reforms, end the abuse of street children, and hold those responsible for beatings and ill-treatment accountable," Mudge stated.

According to a government statement published on February 6, Rwanda has 28 transit centers that serve as temporary accommodation for children detained by police. During their time in the centers, children are screened before being returned to their families or transferred to rehabilitation centers, the government stated.

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