The Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye yesterday visited children from Nyabishongo rehabilitation center, in Mudende sector of Rubavu district where he reminded them that they are valuable to their country which has invested in their rehabilitation.
Minister Busingye noted that Rwanda cannot respect biased reports of some international organizations accusing Rwanda of mistreating children and at the same time establishing rehabilitation centers.
“There might have been three alternatives for you. Staying on streets and die of drugs, bringing you before justice to be tried and sentenced or settling you in rehabilitation centers,” he said.
He explained that the third alternative was found to be suitable for Rwanda’s children other than jailing them.
“We assume that prison is not for a 14 or 15-year child. Why can’t he/she receive other opportunities?” he wondered.
The minister added that children from rehabilitation centers are valuable to the country. “Devoting our time to visit you along with security personnel and district officials demonstrates how valuable you are,” he said.
He said that international organizations accusing Rwanda of mistreating children from rehabilitation centers are worthless as they do not even visit the field to witness how children are living.
“These reports are not authored by a person who took time to come visit this rehabilitation center. We can’t listen to you when you didn’t take time to explore why a country did a particular thing,” he said.
So far 3 000 children have been reintegrated at Nyabishongo rehabilitation center among whom 1,900 were taken to Iwawa for vocational education.