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EMPOWERING DATA MANAGERS, CIVIL REGISTRATION OFFICERS, AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES AT SECTOR AND CELL LEVEL on New Child Law, Birth Registration procedures, and GBV laws in KAYONZA DISTRICT

Before attending this training, I did not know that registering child after birth at hospital matters. Also, I was not aware of the consequences behind that, and it was clear that the majority of data managers encounter several challenges related to birth registration procedures due to lack of information of legal power over birth registration”. Openly, MUSIRIMU Ntagumwa Erick, a Data Manager at Kageyo Sector shared the above experience. In the context of “capacity development of partners and stakeholder” area of intervention, Haguruka has prepared and effectively implemented a four-days training program in Kayonza District.

In the last days of December 2018, Haguruka held training sections with Data managers, Civil Registration Offices, and Executive Secretaries at sector and cell level in Kayonza District. The training held in collaboration with the German Development Agency (GIZ) which is known to provide services in the field of international development cooperation. Both training sessions were very engaging and participative; after each presentation, the attendees were able to ask challenging questions, discuss their challenges, and resolve some real-life situation using provided scenarios.

Throughout the first session, the data managers were equipped with enough information about the reason behind childbirth registration at hospital matters and its consequences, laws governing child birth registration for person and family, family’s requirements and responsibilities for birth and death registration, and some challenges encountered by data managers in their daily activities.

On that same day, civil registration officers were also trained about birth registration procedures. From the discussion, it has been found that the data managers register children without asking whether a child is from a married or unmarried couple. This tend to lead them to wrongly register the children; where the majority of all children are registered in the book “Acte de naissance” which is designed to record children from only married couples (Birth Certificate). And, it has been found that a book “Acte de reconnaissance” which is designed to record children from un married couples (acknowledgment book) was not formerly used. This hot discussion and debate have helped the participants to differentiate the books, and they have decided to develop a habit of asking the marital status (married, un married, separated, divorced, or widowed) of the children’s parent before registering them.

During the last two days of the training program, both executive secretaries of Kayonza district at sector and cell level were trained, and have acquired interesting information on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), particularly an overview of the GBV laws and policies in Rwanda, GBV related offense as provided in the new Penal Code of 2018, right of GBV victims, and even learned a lot of new Child law basically on the offenses against children, teen mothers rights, and the major challenges in the new child law of 2018. Additionally, these local leaders got a chance to be educated and understand more about birth registration; especially on different legal issues arising from birth registration, birth registration process, and even overview of duties and responsibilities of civil registration officers.

Perfectly, both training sessions were fruitful to the participants and Haguruka itself since. The attendees purposively have decided to act as dynamic leaders who effectively and thoroughly protect and promote child rights, child registration, and intervene to end gender-based violence in accordance with legal power. And, HAGURUKA mercifully agreed to continue collaborating with Kayonza district, and it will take into consideration all provided recommendations by the attendees.

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