Rwanda Rwanda: 9th and 10th Periodic Reports, 2005-2009

Periodic Report

Period Covered:2005 - 2009
Date Submitted: 1 July 2009
Session Considered:47th Ordinary Session
12 - 26 May 2010. Banjul, Gambia

Concluding Observations

Adopted at 47th Ordinary Session, 12 - 26 May 2010, Banjul, Gambia.


Recommendations

V - Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of Rwanda should:

43. Recognise the Batwa as an indigenous community and take steps to protect their identity, culture and way of life.

44. Adopt policies and laws including affirmative action measures to extend special protection and ensure the continued participation of the indigenous population in all aspects of life in Rwanda;

45. Take measures to improve the conditions of prisons in the country and ensure visitation rights for detainees and prisoners.

46. Establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure that, the Law Relating to the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Ideology of 2008, and the Law on Prevention, Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Discrimination and Sectarianism are not used to restrict freedom of expression and other rights and freedoms.

47. Open up the political space for an increased and free participation of all opposition political parties.

48. Develop appropriate ways of registering, controlling and regulating the informal sector to prevent exploitation of workers.

49. Put in place a special program to assist child headed households.

50. Ensure the training of judges, prosecutors and lawyers on the application of human rights at domestic level, especially with regard to the African Charter.

51. Ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as well as the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.

52. Make the declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol Establishing the African Court to accept direct access for individuals and NGOs.

53. Ratify the OPCAT.

54. Promote civil societies and NGOs that provide free legal aid and enact appropriate laws that regulate legal aid.

55. Adopt the Access to Information Bill that has been pending for almost five years and ensure that it complies with international standards on access to information and freedom of expression, in particular the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa adopted by the African Commission in 2002.

56. Ensure the teaching and dissemination of the Guidelines and Measures for the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Africa (The Robben Island Guidelines) to law enforcement agents, prosecutors, judges, prison administration and guards.

57. Ensure that it involves all relevant stakeholders, including all human rights NGOs in the preparation of its next Periodic Reports.

58. Inform the African Commission, in its next Periodic Report, of the steps it has taken to address the areas of concern, as well as how it has implemented the recommendations in this Concluding Observations.


Adopted at the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held from 12 to 26 May 2010, Banjul, The Gambia.


This is the combined ninth and tenth periodic report submitted by the Government of Rwanda on the current implementation status of the Charter.

As requested by the Commission, the report also incorporates and addresses in particular the issues raised in the concluding observations that the Committee adopted after considering the seventh periodic report of Rwanda. In addition, the report includes further information on recent legislation and measures taken in order to protect and promote human rights.

Conclusion:
"Rwanda fully understands and owns its national obligation to report and highlight implementation status of the charter not only as an opportunity for self-evaluation but also determination of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is the conviction of the government of Rwanda that a genuine and realistic approach to the human rights challenges confronted can only save the country from future human rights crises. Indeed, such approach has been initiated and efforts are being made to this endeavour. The  African charter as a unique human rights document does provide unique opportunity for Rwanda to showcase its traditional values, activities and programs that have been improved for better protection and promotion of human rights. The abunzi, gacaca, itorero, umuganda among other local initiatives have provided a framework to further the spirit of the African charter. Besides, the progress made in the three generation rights i.e. civil and political rights; socio-economic rights and solidarity rights remain exceptional. Fifteen years after the worst human tragedy of the 20th century have witnessed a cross spectrum of progress in Rwanda- particularly in the field of human rights. It is however noted that challenges still remain – a reason that calls for renewed efforts to consolidate the culture of human rights respect in Rwanda. These (challenges) are either structural challenges or capacity challenges. The need to realize and work towards opening of political space, freedom of press and speech are paramount to cementing human rights progress made."

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