Rwanda

This country page features an interactive, icon-based data dashboard providing a national-level overview of the status of children’s care and care reform efforts (a “Country Care Snapshot”), along with a list of resources and organizations in the country.

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demographic_data

Demographic Data

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12.63 million
Total Population
World Bank, 2019
5.68 million
People
Total Population Under 18
Estimate
45%
Population Under 18
 
UNICEF
4.3
People
Mean Household Size
DHS, 2015
37.6%
Prevalence of Female-Headed Households
 
2017 MIS
Low-Income Country
World Bank GNI Status
World Bank, 2019
38.2%
Living Below Poverty Line
 
World Bank, 2016
43.7
GINI Coefficient
World Bank, 2016
0.536
Human Development Index
UNDP

childrens_living_arrangement

Children's Living Arrangements

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%
Country
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
63.2%
Living with Both Parents
 
DHS 2014-2015
24.1%
Living with One Parent
 
DHS 2014-2015
12%
Living with Neither Parent
 
DHS 2014-2015
%
Effective
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN

children_living_without_bio

Children Living Without Biological Parents

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72%
Both Parents Alive
 
DHS 2014-2015
20%
One Parent Dead
 
DHS 2014-2015
8%
Both Parents Dead
 
DHS 2014-2015

Formal Alternative Care Arrangements

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0 Families/Parents
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
0 Families/Parents
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Total Family-Based Alternative Care
- - Families/Parents
19 Children
Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
Foster Care
- - Foster Families/Foster Parents
19 Children
Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
Formal Kinship Care
- - Families/Parents
- - Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Total Residential Care
- - Settings
6,529 Children
Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
Registered residential child-care facilities
- - Settings
2,504 Children
i
A 2012 national assessment on registered residential care facilities for children found that 3,323 children and young adults resided in 33 such facilities, 11 per cent of whom were children under three years of age and 37 per cent aged 0–3 at the time of placement. Statistics provided by a key informant in March 2014 showed that the original number of children in care had been reduced from 3,323 (in 2012) to 1,457 in March 2014.
Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
Residential care facilities for persons with disabilities
42 Settings
2,712 Children
i
As reported in the Rwanda Country Care Profile, in 2013 some children with disabilities resided within residential care facilities targeted for closure, but it appeared the vast majority of these children resided in other facilities specifically for persons (of all ages) with mental and physical disabilities. Therefore, such children did not fall under the current deinstitutionalization process. Data provided by the NCC indicated that 2,712 children with disabilities resided in 42 residential care facilities for disabled persons (children and adults).
Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
Centres for street children
25 Settings
1,196 Children
Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
Adult detention centres
- - Settings
117 Children
i
117 children in adult detention centres (children living with their mothers in detention).
Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
Lancet Global Study Estimate of Children Living in Institutional Care
17,933 Children
Desmond, et al, 2020

adoption

NO DATA AVAIABLE
Country
NO SOURCE GIVEN
302
children
Inter-country Adoption
Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
i
Date range: 2003-2011. Inter-country adoption is no longer practiced in Rwanda as there has been a moratorium in place since 2010. Key informants noted that formal domestic adoption is growing.
NO DATA AVAIABLE
Effective
NO SOURCE GIVEN

Parental Survivorship

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90%
Children with Both Parents Alive
 
DHS 2014-2015
8.3%
Children with One Parent Alive
 
DHS 2014-2015
1%
Children with Both Parents Dead
 
DHS 2014-2015

Progress Indicators

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Country
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Effective
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Social Welfare Spending
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Alternative Care Policy in Line with the 2009 Guidelines
 
Yes
Law 54/2011 on the Rights and Protection of the Child and the Integrated Child Rights Policy and Strategic Plan (2011).
i
Rwanda has a strong, child rights-based legal and policy framework that has been strengthened and enhanced since 2010 to include a focus on the primary role of the family and family strengthening, family-based alternative care and poverty reduction. This includes the passage of two laws, the Child Rights and Protection Policy, and three national strategies encompassing child-care reform, family promotion and poverty reduction. Together these form a holistic, family-centred framework that includes preventive and response components in support of the care-reform effort. There is also strong support for social protection and early childhood development – this will further reinforce the care-reform effort by supporting the prevention of separation, and helping build the resilience and competencies of Rwandan families. Law 54/2011 on the Rights and Protection of the Child includes specific articles relating to prevention of separation, family support, alternative care and the social integration of children, many recognizing the specific rights of children in care.
Centralised Authority on Adoption
 
Limited
NCC
i
The NCC has an oversight role in domestic and inter-country adoption processes. There are no centralized data on the number of domestic adoptions in Rwanda. To date, formal domestic adoption has been processed at the sector level. Local authorities approve this and then the primary court approves the final legal process. At the time of writing, there was no system in place for collating information regarding the number of domestic adoptions upwards to national level.
Commitment to Deinstitutionalistion
 
Yes
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
Child-care reform has been prioritized by the highest level of government (i.e. by the President and Prime Minister), beginning with a National Children’s Forum where the issue of residential care was prioritized by children (BCN, 2015). The most recent child-care reform process was initiated in 2010. This phase was prompted by several key developments between 2010 and 2012. These included: the strengthening of a strong child rights-based legal and policy framework through the passage of the landmark Law 54/2011 on the Rights and Protection of the Child; accession to the 1993 Hague Convention for the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption (HCIA); a successful pilot deinstitutionalization effort and a National Study on Residential Care; the establishment of the National Commission for Children (NCC) through the passage of Law 22/2011; and children’s voices advocating for family-based care for children at the 2011 National Children’s Summit.
Comprehensive Child Protection Law
 
Yes
Law 54/2011 on the Rights and Protection of the Child and the Integrated Child Rights Policy and Strategic Plan (2011).
i
Rwanda has a strong, child rights-based legal and policy framework that has been strengthened and enhanced since 2010 to include a focus on the primary role of the family and family strengthening, family-based alternative care and poverty reduction. This includes the passage of two laws, the Child Rights and Protection Policy, and three national strategies encompassing child-care reform, family promotion and poverty reduction. Together these form a holistic, family-centred framework that includes preventive and response components in support of the care-reform effort. There is also strong support for social protection and early childhood development – this will further reinforce the care-reform effort by supporting the prevention of separation, and helping build the resilience and competencies of Rwandan families.
Continuum of Alternative Care Services Available
 
Partly
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
Rwanda has a range of formal alternative care options for children including foster care, guardianship and residential care (including temporary shelter for street children). the ICRP in Article 2.6.1 recognizes and prioritizes the following alternative care options: a: Kinship care (children without parents placed in the care of extended family); b: Formal adoption within community/country; c: Placement in foster care within their communities; d: Inter-country adoption in accordance with international and national guidelines; and e: Institutional care as a last resort, with continuous effort placed on finding a different option. Because the foster-care guidelines have yet to be finalized, this care option appears to be at a relatively nascent stage and would benefit from more attention and thought around the different models of foster-care placements (e.g., emergency, short-term and long-term) and how those care options will be developed, provided and managed. Formal care is still primarily residential care, but this is changing as government encourages other forms of care and some local governments and/or residential care facilities are refusing new entrants.
Data System
 
Limited
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
To date, several different mechanisms have been used to collect information related to child protection and care, but these have yet to be collated into one central database. The NCC has a mandate to collect data related to children’s rights and protection. The NCC is also responsible for overseeing the child-rights data gathering and management, together with MIGEPROF and the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda. The NCC is mandated to develop, in partnershipwith the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, a data management system for regular status reports on children and their rights. In 2014, the NCC collected data on Most Vulnerable Children. That data will be entered into the MVC database, will be analysed and will help to generate useful information that will be used by partners/Government to address the needs of the vulnerable children
Existence of a Regulatory Body and Regulatory System
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Gatekeeping Mechanism/Policy
 
Mostly
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
Gatekeeping mechanisms have been developed and piloted in several districts and sectors across the country. The pilot deinstitutionalization project of HHC established child-care networks to function as gatekeeping mechanisms, and this model is being replicated – although it is likely to be named differently and address not just care issues but also child protection concerns. Beginning in 2014, the government has launched community based child protection structures (Inshuti Z’Umuryango (IZ)) that include para social work volunteers with the responsibility of safeguarding the rights of all children at village, cell and sector levels and paying particular attention to those at risk of separation and children whom have been reintegrated. Although volunteer in nature the IZ are linked with the formal sector
Means of Tracking Progress with Reforms
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Moratorium on Admission into Institutions for Children Under 3
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Moratorium on New Institutions
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
National Action Plan to Guide Reforms
 
Yes
Strategy for Child Care Reform (2012); Tubarerere Mu Muryangyo (TMM) Let’s Raise Children in Families!
i
Led by the government, with active support from UNICEF, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and faith-based organizations (FBOs), the TMM is the guiding framework for the reform process.
National Standards of Care
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Prevention of Separation Services Available
 
Yes
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
Family strengthening services in Rwanda include: social protection and cash transfer programs, education enrolment, the Genocide Survivors Support and Assistance Fund (FARG), Positive deviance hearth groups (a community-based approach to address malnutrition in children under 5); Farmer field schools (FFS): FFS is a proven strategy for increasing household food production; Internal savings and lending groups (ISLGs), The DCOF-funded Ishema Mu Muryango (Pride for the Family) reintegration and family strengthening program, Hope and Homes for Children's Community Hub model, and more.
Support for Careleavers (in Legislation and in Practice)
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN

social_work_force

Social Service Workforce

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Workers
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Country
Social Work Degree Programmes
 
Yes
Source: Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
i
As of the writing on the Country Care Profile, there were three universities that offer social work training, the National University of Rwanda, the Catholic University of Rwanda and Byumba Polytechnic University, which offer bachelor-level programmes. According to information provided by the Rwanda Association of Social Work, approximately 1,000 social workers, from the National University of Rwanda and Byumba Polytechnic University, completed a university degree in social work between 2003 ad 2013. The Catholic University was due to graduate its first class in 2014.
Social Service Workforce Training
 
Yes
Source: Country Care Profile: Rwanda (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015)
i
At the time of the writing of the Country Care Profile, efforts were primarily focused on preparing a cadre of 68 social workers and psychologists to work at the district level. The social workers and psychologists were to be trained and placed in a phased approach, prioritizing districts where residential care facilities are being or will soon be closed. Their primary mandate was to oversee care-reform efforts in that district including deinstitutionalization, prevention of separation and alternative care for the first three years. UNICEF, the NCC, Tulane University and HHC had jointly developed the training curriculum.
Workers
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Effective
A national workforce assessment and analysis carried out within the past four years
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
A system of licensing/registration of social service professionals
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN

key_stakeholders

Key Stakeholders

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Country
Government
Civil Society Organisations
Effective

Other Relevant Reforms

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Effective
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Social Protection
i
Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) cash transfer program. The new Social Protection Policy was being drafted at the time of writing of the Rwanda Country Care Profile (Better Care Network and UNICEF, 2015) by a multisectoral group and includes children as a primary target group for social protection initiatives.
Source: Better Care Network, 2015

drivers_of_institutionalisation

Drivers of Institutionaliziation

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Push Factors
Pull Factors
Effective

key_research_and_information

Key Data Sources

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Country
Effective

Displaying 1 - 10 of 147

List of Organisations

Abraham Uwimana - All Africa,

Jeanne Uwamariya's firstborn Gloria Abijuru was born with a physical disability. The father to her children with whom they were not legally married abandoned his family when Abijuru was just 3 years old.

Alternative Care Thailand, UNICEF,

These presentations from UNICEF and Alternative Care Thailand were delivered during the July 9, 2021, workshop of the Care Measurement Task Force of the Transforming Children's Care Global Collaborative Platform. The focus of the workshop was on care measurement initiatives in Eastern and Southern Africa and Thailand.

Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data & Center of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC),

This is a video recording from the webinar: Constructing the foundations for legal identity in post conflict situations. This webinar shared findings from research that documents how Afghanistan, Georgia, Rwanda and South Africa have made registration of vital events more accessible by adjusting or removing legal and institutional obstacles in post-conflict settings.

UNICEF, Changing the Way We Care, The National Child Development Agency,

This virtual study tour aims to provide you with a strong understanding of care reform in Rwanda
from the comfort of your own home.

National Child Development Agency, Rwanda and UNICEF Rwanda,

This participant’s handbook relates to Module 3 of the Government of Rwanda’s Tubarerere Mu Muryango (TMM) training programme. It is for Child Protection and Welfare Officers who work directly with children and families on reintegration of children, including children with disabilities from residential institutions.

National Child Development Agency, Rwanda and UNICEF Rwanda,

This training package is primarily for Government of Rwanda’s Child Protection and Welfare Officers who work directly with children and families on reintegration of children (including children with disabilities) from residential institutions.

National Child Development Agency, Rwanda and UNICEF Rwanda,

This operational guidance describes how the Government of Rwanda conducts case management for reintegration of children from residential institutions to family-based care, including children with disabilities.

Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems - International Development Research Centre (IDRC),

This paper aims to contribute to the achievement of Target 16.9 under Sustainable Development Goal 16 by analyzing the role of the civil register and the legal underpinnings for identity in four countries: Afghanistan, Georgia, Rwanda, and South Africa. It describes institutional and operational models in each country that support universal registration of births, deaths, and other vital events.

UNICEF Rwanda,

The overall objective of this technical assistance is to increase the understanding of child protection (CP) among health professionals and establish appropriate linkages between health and CP professionals to respond to health emergencies

Gillian Mann and Emily Delap - Family for Every Child,

This paper argues that kinship care – the care of children by relatives or friends of the family – represents the greatest resource available for meeting the needs of girls and boys who are orphaned or otherwise live apart from their parents.