After 8 years of service, IJM has decided to phase out its work in Rwanda. IJM Rwanda was established in 2008, originally partnering with the Rwandan government to protect vulnerable widows and orphans threatened by forcible eviction from their homes and land. After 3 years of combatting land grabbing crimes and witnessing remarkable progress by the Government in transforming the land security environment, IJM shifted its focus in Rwanda to another priority of the Rwandan government, protecting child victims of sexual assault.
Since IJM began working in Rwanda, the Rwandan government has continued its impressive pace of building its critical justice institutions. Consistent with this strong trend, the Rwanda government, in cooperation with significant international partners, has concrete plans to establish over 40 One Stop Centers throughout the country to respond to cases of gender-based and child sexual violence. The One Stop Center approach is based on a proven multi-disciplinary, victim-sensitive model for combatting such violence. Though IJM would be honoured to continue contributing to this important national initiative, winding down operations in Rwanda allows IJM to invest our efforts and resources in places of greater and more time-sensitive need for IJM’s model. IJM leaves Rwanda confident that Rwanda’s One Stop initiative is led by committed leaders and in the hope that the expansion of effective One Stop Centers throughout the country will make the children of Rwanda more secure.
We are immensely grateful for all that has been accomplished by our team and partners on behalf of Rwanda’s most vulnerable. Since 2008, IJM partnered with local authorities to secure justice and provide critical aftercare to hundreds of victims of property grabbing and sexual violence. As a result of IJM’s close collaboration with local authorities, over 70 perpetrators of sexual violence have been convicted in Rwandan courts.
IJM’s Rwanda team has also trained and equipped scores of police officers, prosecutors, judges, church leaders and community members in responding effectively to property grabbing, sexual abuse, and other forms of gender-based violence.
We are also grateful for the extraordinary partners and friends we have worked alongside over the last eight years, including the committed staff within the Ministry of Justice, National Public Prosecution Service (NPPA), the Rwanda National Police, the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, the Institute of Legal Practice and Development, Isange One Stop Center, Kindernothilfe (KNH), Legal Aid Forum and many other excellent government and private organizations and churches who will continue to commit themselves to a strong Rwanda.
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