This paper deals with identity issues for children born of rape during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Identity issues have led to social exclusion for the above named children in the Rwandan society. These children continue to suffer from the bad experiences and memories due to the circumstances in which they were born. This study found that these children face psychological and socio-economic consequences at home and at school. The findings of this study indicate that due to the circumstances under which they were conceived and born, they are perceived as ‘unwanted children’ by family members and society who label them as ‘children of genocide perpetrators’, ‘children of killers’, children of Hutus’ and sometimes ‘evil children’. Such a scenario leads to their exclusion within their families of genocide perpetrators and/or survivors. As a result, they suffer from trauma and shame, ending up losing self-esteem. No government support has been extended to these children and yet they should enjoy equal rights as accorded to other children. They need to be psychologically and socially supported in order to correct the stigmatisation they are undergoing. The study suggests some strategies to address the challenges faced by the children born of rape.
Keywords: impact of war and violence, genocide, children born of rape