Rwanda National Police (RNP) and the Dallaire Institute (DI), on Monday, February 20, held roundtable discussions on the role of female police officers in the prevention of the recruitment and use of children in armed violence.
The one day event held at the RNP General Headquarters at Kacyiru was officially opened by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Jeanne Chantal Ujeneza.
It was held under the theme: "A World where children are at the heart of peace and security."
It was also attended by Warren Kid, from the Dallaire Institute Global Affairs in Canada, and Francisca Mujawase, the Director at the Dallaire Institute for Peace and Security - African Center of Excellence.
DIGP Ujeneza said that the RNP and DI have maintained a long-standing collaboration and have a shared mission of preventing the recruitment and use of children as soldiers in armed conflicts as reflected in the memorandum of understanding signed between the two parties in 2019.
The roundtable discussions, she said, opens an opportunity to share unique experiences, the challenges they encountered in their mission, and successful strategies on protecting children during conflict, including preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed violence.
"Through the roundtable, the female officers will engage and debate on key topics. The goal is to generate new knowledge and lessons learned to inform the work of the Dallaire Institute and the RNP going forward," DIGP Ujeneza said.
"As recognized by the United Nation Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, the Kigali Principles and the Vancouver principles; the Dallaire Institute and the RNP also share the same conviction of the relevant role of women in peacekeeping in general and in particular the protection of children against the modern scourge... their recruitment and use in armed conflicts," she added.
The role of women police officers in the prevention, she said, becomes effective when they are equipped with knowledge and skills to better understand the fragile context that threaten the protection of children, in order to adopt effective prevention measures.
Lack of such skills, she noted, increases the vulnerabilities of children to recruitment.
The Dallaire Institute has supported training of 38, including 26 female officers, who were certified as trainers on the Dallaire Concept.
The certified trainers facilitate in training of Formed Police Units (FPUs) prior to their deployment to the UN mission.
The Training of Trainers courses and those extended to women officer in particular, the DIGP said, helps to make a difference in their daily duties, both home and beyond borders where they also become good ambassadors for children’s rights by spreading the message with their colleagues since the protection of children starts at home and has no limits.
"These training of Trainer courses for the RNP officers and for women in particular, helps to make a difference in their daily duties, bothat home and beyond borders where they become good ambassadors for children’s rights by spreading the message. Protection of children starts at home and has no limits," DIGP Ujeneza reiterated.