Parents in Bugesera District have been urged to shun factors that influence domestic violence and neglecting their responsibilities to children.
They were also called upon to protect minors against consuming alcoholic beverages, abusing illicit drugs and prevent early and unwanted pregnancies through sex education.
Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP) Cyprien Uwitonze, the District Community Liaison Officer (DCLO) of Bugesera made the call on Monday during a parents’ meeting at of Mareba secondary schools.
About 300 parents attended the meeting.
She noted that although some children drink alcohol out of peer influence, others engage in such because they are either neglected by parents and guardians or are given no attention.
“Effective parenting means being concerned about the emotional, social and physical wellbeing of children,” she noted.
The DCLO also briefed them on laws that prohibit sale of alcoholic drinks to under-aged children, and reminded them that the implementation of such legal instruments is their responsibility as well.
Article 219 of the penal code states that: “Any person, who offers or sells alcoholic beverages or tobacco to a child or involves him/her in the sale of such products shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of at least three to six months and a fine of Rwf300, 000 to Rwf1 million, or one of these penalties.”
The penalties also apply to any person who encourages a child to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke, or go to bars.
AIP Uwitonze further noted that most of the children who end up on the street come from homes which have constant conflicts which do not give the child peace of mind, support and parental guidance.
Germain Uwamariya, one of the parents reiterated that parents and teachers to take the responsibility and work together to guide children and fight child abuse.