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اللجنة الأفريقية لحقوق الإنسان والشعوب

تنزانيا: التقرير الدوري الاول، 1984-1992

تغطية المدة:1984 - 1992

تاريخ التقديم: آذار 09 , 1992

نظرت الدورة:11th Ordinary Session


الملاحظات والتوصيات الختامية - تنزانيا: التقرير الدوري الاول، 1984-1992

اعتمد في الدورة العادية رقم 11 آذار 02 to آذار 09 , 1992 ,Tunisie.

Thirty-First Ordinary Session 2 to 16 May 2002, in Pretoria, South Africa

Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under the Terms of Article
62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Initial Report of the
Islamic Republic of Mauritania


I- Introduction

1. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Mauritania) is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) having ratified it on 14 June 1986.

2. The present Concluding Observations on the Initial Report of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Mauritania) follow from the contents of the Report, the dialogue between the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) and the Delegation of Mauritania following the latter's presentation of the Report at the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Commission in Pretoria, South Africa from 2 to 16 May 2002.

II- Positive Aspects

The African Commission:

3. Commends the Government of Mauritania for having created an enabling environment for the submission and presentation of its Initial Report in compliance with its obligations under Article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter).

4. Welcomes the preparation of the Initial Report of Mauritania in accordance with the African Commission’s guidelines for reporting. In addition to highlighting on the progress made to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in the country, it contains illustrative figures.

5. Appreciates the Delegation of high-ranking officials of the country led by the Minister of Justice of Mauritania, H.E Mr. Sghaïr Mbareck that presented the Report. This is indicative of the importance Mauritania attaches to its reporting obligations and to the African Commission as a whole.

6. Commends that the Report combines all the outstanding Reports that Mauritania owes to the African Commission. This practice could be emulated by other states similarly owing more than one overdue report to the African Commission.

7. Commends the Government of Mauritania for setting up the Commission of Human Rights, Fight Against Poverty, and Rehabilitation.

8. Commends the steps that the Government of Mauritania has taken as per its report in fighting poverty and encourages it to continue towards its total eradication.

9. Notes with appreciation that the Report was submitted at the 30th Ordinary Session of the African Commission in October 2001 thereby allowing enough time for preparation for its examination.

III- Factors Restricting the Enjoyment of the Rights Guaranteed in the African Charter

9. Despite the Government’s efforts to comply with the provisions of the African Charter, the limited resources at its disposal inhibit its ability to ensure that all its citizens enjoy the rights under the African Charter.

10. The entrenched and unhealthy look of the society on some aspects of human rights, including regarding minorities and women, stands in the way to extensively and effectively implement the African Charter in Mauritania.

IV- Areas of Concern

While recognising the efforts of Mauritania to promote and protect human rights and to create awareness on the principles and provisions of the African Charter, the African Commission remains concerned that:

11. There are inadequate measures in place to address the special needs of vulnerable and minority groups such as the nomadic tribes, the elderly and people with disabilities;

12. The perception of women in Mauritania remains to hamper their equal enjoyment of their human rights. Of particular concern is the potentially discriminatory application of repudiation in marriages;

13. The Report does not address the current situation of the practice of the often-alleged modern slavery in Mauritania.

14. Opposition parties and some Non-Governmental Organisations are said to have been unable to freely operate in Mauritania and there are reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions among them.

V. Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of Mauritania should:

15. Enhance its efforts to raise awareness of human and peoples’ rights in Mauritania;

16. Particularly emphasise on women and children in its programmes to fight poverty in Mauritania;

17. Intensify its efforts to ensure access to education of women and children in Mauritania;

18. Intensify its awareness campaign to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country;

19. Continue cultivating a culture of respect for human rights in order to reduce tension within the society and allow peaceful coexistence of the various ethnic groups in Mauritania;

20. Inform the African Commission on the status of its ratification of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.

21. 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 31st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held from 2 to 16 May 2002, Pretoria, South Africa

Thirty-First Ordinary Session
2 to 16 May 2002, Pretoria, South Africa

 

Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under the Terms of Article 62 of
the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

 

Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the First Combined Periodic
Report of the Republic of Togo


I - Introduction

1- The Republic of Togo (Togo) is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) having ratified the same on 5 November 1982.

2- The present Concluding Observations follow the presentation and examination of the Initial Report of Togo at the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission or the Commission) held from 2 to 16 May 2002, Pretoria, South Africa.

3- The report encompasses all outstanding reports of Togo to the Commission since the presentation of its Initial Report to the 13th Ordinary Session of the Commission held from
29 March to 7 April 1993 in Banjul, The Gambia.

4- The Report was presented to the Commission by a Delegation led by Mr d’Almeida Dosse, Principal Private Secretary of the Minister of Justice in charge of the Promotion of Democracy and the Rule of Law.

5- The Report highlights the developments that have taken place in the areas of human and peoples’ rights and measures put in place with a view to implement the country’s obligations under the African Charter.

6- The present Concluding Observations give an account of the positive aspects, and concerns identified in the Report. The comments, remarks and observations during the examination of the Report, enhanced the recommendations formulated after the dialogue.

II - Positive Aspects

The African Commission:

8- Congratulates the Government of Togo for the presentation of its first combined Periodic Report in conformity with Article 62 of the African Charter.

9- Commends the Republic of Togo for updating the report since its submission to the 30th Ordinary Session of the African Commission held in Banjul, The Gambia, in 2001.

10- Welcomes the combination of all outstanding reports by Togo since the presentation of its Initial Report to the 13th Ordinary Session of the Commission held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 29 March to 7 April 1993.

11- Commends the presentation of the Report to the Commission by Mr d’Almeida Dosse, Principal Private Secretary in the Ministry of Justice responsible for the Promotion of Democracy and the Rule of Law, assisted by two Senior Officials, including a woman.

12- Welcomes the efforts made by the Government of Togo, particularly in the fight against illiteracy, HIV/AIDS and poverty in general.

13- Congratulates the Government of Togo for its sensitisation efforts for the promotion of the African Charter.

14- Appreciates that besides the progress realised in the promotion and protection of human and people’s rights in the country, the report gives indicative figures on the development of indexes representing the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights among the Togolese society.

15- Commends also the Government of Togo for the arrangements made to strengthen awareness for the promotion of the African Charter.

III - Factors restricting the Enjoyment of the Rights Guaranteed by the African Charter

16. The Report acknowledges that the level of poverty due to Togo’s limited resources hinders the enjoyment of the rights stipulated in the African Charter.

17. The Report also notes that the continuous tensions between the different political actors and the exacerbation of positions undermine seriously the enhancement of the rule of law.

IV - Areas of concern

While recognising the efforts of Togo to promote and protect human rights and to promote awareness of the principles and provisions of the African Charter, the African Commission remains concerned that:

18. The inadequate efforts by Togo in the ratification of international instruments relating to human rights has an impact on the promotion and protection of human rights in the country;

19- Socio-ethnic tensions are still prevalent and hinder the progress of the country;

20- The existing measures aimed at addressing the specific needs of vulnerable persons and social groups such as women and children, the elderly and the handicapped are not adequate and should be reviewed and strengthened;

21- Besides the need to strengthen women rights within the family and professional environment through the education and training of girls and through adult education, the Commission expresses its particular concern on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child trafficking, especially trafficking of girls.

V - Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of the Republic of Togo should:

21. Maintain its sensitisation efforts with regard to human and peoples’ rights in the country;

22. Continue with the culture of respect of human rights and political tolerance with a view to easing the tension in the society;

23. Double its efforts in the promotion and protection of the rights of women, children and persons with disabilities;

24. Take adequate measures to fight poverty by protecting every vulnerable social stratum against impoverishment;

25. Extend its scope of protection of women against harmful traditional practices and double its efforts with a view to increasing the involvement of women in the activities of the public and private sectors, particularly by reducing the poor
representation of women in senior positions;

26. Take specific measures to cater for the needs of minority and vulnerable groups and promote and protect the rights of these groups.

27. Should take the necessary measures for the ratification of regional and international instruments concerning human rights, including the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights for the Establishment of an African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

28. 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 31st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held from 2 to 16 May 2002, Pretoria, South Africa

Concluding Observations of the African Commission on the 2nd

Periodic Report of the Republic of Uganda

Presented at the 40th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and

Peoples’ Rights held in Banjul, the Gambia from 15 to 29 November 2006

I- Introduction

 

1. The Republic of Uganda (Uganda) is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples¡¦ Rights (the African Charter), having ratified it on 27 May 1986.

 

2. The report was received at the Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples¡¦ Rights (the Secretariat) in May 2006 and was considered at the 40th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples¡¦ Rights (the African Commission), held from 15 to 29 November 2006 in Banjul, The Gambia.

 

3. The present Concluding Observations follow from the presentation of the Second Periodic Report by the Delegation of the Republic of Uganda to the African Commission. The Delegation was composed of Honourable Khiddu Makubuya, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Major Charles Wacha Angulo, Ms Rosette Nyirinkindi Katungye, and Ms Sarah Nambasa Masembe. The Report was presented by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Uganda who was head of the delegation.

 

4. It must be noted that in addition to the report submitted by Uganda, the Secretariat received a report from the High Commissioner for Human Rights¡¦ office in Uganda and three shadow reports from the following Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs): the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA-U) and a joint report from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). These reports also provided the African Commission with information on the human rights situation in Uganda.

 

5. These Concluding Observations give an account of the positive aspects identified in the Report as well as the factors restricting the effective enjoyment of human and peoples' rights as stipulated in the African Charter. They also underline areas of concern where, in the African Commission¡¦s view, action needs to be taken.

 

6. At the end of its observations, the African Commission makes recommendations to Uganda on measures to be taken to enhance the enjoyment of human rights in general and the rights guaranteed in the African Charter in particular.

II - Positive Aspects

 

The African Commission:

1. Commends Uganda for submitting its report in accordance with Article 62 of the African Charter. In particular the African Commission highly appreciates the efforts made by the Government of Uganda to guarantee the enjoyment of rights and freedoms enshrined under the African Charter.

2. Notes that Uganda's Constitution makes provision for the Charter on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms. The Constitution also provides for various constitutional bodies to promote and protect fundamental rights and freedoms in Uganda. In comparison with previous Constitution, the African Commission notes that Article 33 of the 1995 Constitution specifically provides for the rights of women and recognizes the need to accord women full and equal privileges with men.

3. Notes in particular that Article 51 of the Constitution of Uganda creates the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) with quasi-judicial functions and that Article 53 (1) and (2) of the same Constitution give the UHRC the powers to:

 

Investigate on its own initiative or that of an individual or group of persons any complaint regarding the abuse of human rights; Release a detained or restricted person; Pay or order the payment of compensation; Give any other legal remedies or redress.

 

4. Takes note of the fact that Uganda has ratified major international and regional human rights instruments including the:

African Charter on Human and People¡¦s Rights; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). First Optional Protocol on the ICCPR with reservations on Article 5; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD); Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict; Second Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child prostitution and Child Pornography; African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of An African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.

 

5. Commends Uganda for establishing the Ministry of Gender in order to further promote women¡¦s rights and social development as a national mechanism for the advancement of women and mainstreaming of gender;

6. Notes with appreciation the creation of a National Steering Committee on Child Labor composed of Ministries, the Federation of Ugandan Employers and the National Organization of Trade Unions. The African Commission also welcomes the efforts made to organize NGOs and other partners to guide and oversee the implementation of the child labour programme activities;

7. Recognizes the efforts being made to combat the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic, including the adoption of the "National Policy for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)";

8. Commends Uganda for engaging in peace negotiations with Lord Resistance Army (LRA) and other rebel groups in Uganda.

III - Factors Restricting the Enjoyment of the Rights Guaranteed in the African Charter

9. Uganda is currently involved in an internal armed conflict with different rebel groups in the country. These rebel groups are involved in the abduction of children and other human rights violations which affect marginalized groups. The links of this conflict with other regional conflicts jeopardize the implementation of all development projects and thereby the enjoyment of all rights enshrined in the African Charter as well as other international instruments in the country.

10. According to the 2004 World Bank report the adult illiteracy rate in Uganda is 33.2%, which can be considered as a factor impeding some people from taking up actions against human rights violators.

IV- Areas of Concern

While recognising the efforts of the Government of Uganda to promote and protect human rights and to create awareness on the principles and provisions of the African Charter, the African Commission remains concerned:

11. That Uganda has not complied with the African Commission¡¦s Guidelines for the Preparation of Periodic Reports in the preparation of the Report. The African Commission further regrets that the Report appears to be a copy of the report that was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and other international human rights bodies, and hence the specific peculiarities of the African Charter have not been adequately addressed;

12. That the HIV pandemic is still ravaging the Ugandan population due to the fact that most infected people have limited resources to get appropriate drugs;

13. That conflicts in the Northern part of Uganda (Acholiland) have continued to undermine development efforts in Uganda;

14. By the situation of approximately 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in substandard conditions in overcrowded camps and who are also suffering from all kinds of human rights violations;

15. With the administration of justice by military courts, as it is related to the trial of civilians as well as the implementation of the 2001 Principles and Guidelines on Fair Trial and Legal Assistance;

16. That ordinary Ugandans cannot afford legal services to get compensation for their human rights abuses.

17. By the exploitation, the discrimination and the marginalization of indigenous populations;

18. With the recent NGOs Registration (Amendment) Act as this may impede the work of these organizations and hinder freedom of association and expression;

19. About the existence of the death penalty in Uganda; and

20. About the lack of concrete actions taken to give effect to the national legislations referred to in the report.

V. Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of Uganda should:

Take concrete actions to give effect to the provisions of the African Charter; Comply with Article 7 of the African Charter and in particular, the 2001 Principles and Guidelines on Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, as the later clearly prohibits the trial of civilians by military tribunals; Reduce the marginalization of the Northern part of the country (East Karamoja) by strengthening central government services to eradicate poverty, overcome insecurity and foster development; Consider amending the recently enacted NGO Registration (Amendment) Act with a view to incorporating the concerns raised by NGOs; Collaborate with civil societies, international and regional organizations, to sensitize people and address Uganda’s difficulties, in particular problems related to insecurity, unemployment and development; Abolish the death penalty; Ensure that the rights of indigenous people and other vulnerable groups are respected; Enhance the implementation of the national policy on IDPs and ensure the rehabilitation of social and economic infrastructures in order to ensure their return and resettlement. Follow the African Commission’s Guidelines for the Preparation of Periodic Reports, and collaborate with NGOs and academic institutions while preparing its Periodic Reports; Establish Khadis Courts as provided for in Uganda’s Constitution; and 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. Thirty-Fourth Ordinary Session
6 - 20 November 2003, in Banjul, The Gambia

 

Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under the Terms of
Article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Initial Report of the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)


I - Introduction

1- The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter or the Charter) having ratified it on 20 July 1987.

2- The present Concluding Observations on the Initial Report of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) arise from the content, the presentation, and the dialogue that ensured from the exchange between the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission or the Commission) and the Representative of the, DRC at the African Commission’s 34th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia from 6 to 20 November, 2003.

3- The Report consolidates DRC’s Initial Report due since 20 on July 1989 and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th reports due on 20 July 1991, 20 July 1993, 20 July 1995, 20 July 1997, 20 July 1999, 20 July 2001 and 20 July 2003 respectively. 

4- The Report was presented to the African Commission by the Minister of Human Rights, the Honourable Kalala Marie Madeleine.

II: Positive Aspects

The African Commission:

5- Commends the frank, candid and constructive manner with which the DRC Minister of Human Rights, the Honourable Kalala Marie Madeleine participated in the dialogue with the African Commission. The presentation deserves a special mention.

6- Notes with appreciation the submission by the DRC of its Initial Report, more particularly, at the time it was going through enormous problems including armed conflict in the Northern and Eastern regions of the country.

7- Appreciates the willingness of the DRC Government to cooperate with the AU, the United Nations and the international community in efforts to find solutions to its current social, economic and political problems which provides hope for a lasting solution to the current crisis. 

8- Commends the DRC for the success of the peace process to-date, which has culminated in the establishment of a transitional Government. It is a welcome development which puts the DRC on the road to lasting peace, thereby creating an environment under which the rights under the African Charter may be protected for the entire territory of the DRC.

9- Notes with satisfaction that the DRC has already made serious efforts to put in place legislation for the protection of human rights in line with its obligations under Article 1 of the African Charter.

10- Welcomes the efforts of the United Nations through MONUC in ensuring peace, particularly in the Eastern Districts of the country, and to provide an environment upon which a peaceful transition to the democratisation of the entire DRC is highly commendable.

III - Factors Restricting the Enjoyment of the Rights Enshrined in the African Charter

11. The Report acknowledges that despite the new Transitional Government’s desire to protect all its citizens so as to enable them to enjoy rights under the Charter, the fact that it is yet to establish control over the entire territory of the DRC inhibits those citizens in areas still under conflict from accessing Government protection and hence the enjoyment of the rights under the Charter.

12- The Report also recognises that the current Government inherited a system where the economy had collapsed with no meaningful economic infrastructure such as roads and bridges and this has the effect of crippling the new Government’s ability to mobilise the enormous natural resources the country is endowed with for the benefit of its people.

13- The Report reveals that the long conflict the country has been embroiled in and the consequential deep ethnic hatred that has resulted there from thereby perpetuating continued conflict in the Eastern districts, inhibits economic development and the creation of an environment for the enjoyment of human rights by people in those areas.

14- The Report further states that the massive displacement of people in all areas of conflict over the years seriously affects access by the people affected to enjoyment of rights under the Charter.

IV - Areas of Concerns

While recognising the efforts of DRC to promote and protect human rights and to promote awareness of the principles and provisions of the African Charter, the African Commission remains concerned that:

15- The Report does not strictly comply with the Commission’s guidelines for reporting set out in the Commission’s guidelines for reporting primarily due to the fact that the Government did not have control of the whole territory of the DRC at the time, the tremendous efforts being made to provide a legal framework within which the rights under the charter may be protected are highly commendable;

16- The continued conflict in the Eastern Districts particularly in Bunia has resulted in numerous deaths, destruction of property and displacement of many people;

17- The United Nations Peace-Keeping Force (MONUC) has been unable to stop the carnage in the Eastern Districts such as Bunia where massacres which amount to violations of international humanitarian law, are reported to have taken or be taking place;

18- There are still reports of continued serious violations of the human rights of the pygmy/Batwa populations of the DRC particularly in the Eastern Districts, which include deprivation of the right to life, forced removals from their lands, total deprivation of basic means of livelihood and many other injustices;

19- There is an absence of any mention or treatment of the Pygmy/Batwa population in the DRC Report despite numerous reports of injustices they are reported to be suffering;

20- There is an apparent absence of the protection of the independence of the judiciary in the light of the powers given to the Minister of Justice to dismiss judges; and

21- The continued existence of child soldiers in the DRC is still rampant.

V - Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of DRC should:

22- Expedite the consolidation of the Peace Process so as to demobilise the numerous armed groups and integrate the various armies of the components of the Transitional Government into a single army so as to assume control and responsibility over the entire territory of the DRC;

23- Take urgent measures in conjunction with MONUC to stop the fighting in the Eastern Districts so as to ensure the security of people in those areas;

24- Take steps towards ensuring the protection of the rights of the Pygmy/Batwa people in the whole territory of the DRC and move particularly to stop the serious violations of the rights of these people in the Eastern Districts. In this regard, the Government is urged to put in place as quickly as possible legislation recognising the rights of the Pygmy/Batwa people;

25- Take urgent and concrete measures to complete the promulgation of the new constitution for the Republic as well as other laws for the implementation of the rights under the Charter so as to enable all its people to enjoy the rights under the Charter;

26- Pay particular attention, in drafting the new constitution, to those provisions relating to the protection of the independence of the judiciary as the judiciary is not only a fountain of justice but also the key to adequate protection of human rights; 

27- Take all appropriate measures to protect the rights of the child by ensuring disbanding and prohibition of child soldiers. Such measures should include programmes for the rehabilitation of the former child soldiers;

28- Expedite the submission of its 9th periodical report due on 20 July 2005 so as to update the Commission on the success of the peace process and new laws and programmes undertaken to ensure adequate protection of the rights under the Charter; and

29- 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 thirty-Fourth Ordinary Session of the African Commission on human
and Peoples’ Rights held from 6 to 20 November 2003, in Banjul, The Gambia

Forty-Seventh Ordinary Session
12 – 26 May 2010, in Banjul, The Gambia

Consideration of Reports submitted by States Parties under the Terms of Article 62 
of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Ninth and Tenth Periodic Reports of the Republic of Rwanda


I - Introduction

1. The Republic of Rwanda (Rwanda) is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) having ratified the latter on 17 May 1983.

2. Rwanda submitted its Initial Report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) in August 1990 and was considered during the latter’s 19th Ordinary Session. It submitted its combined First to Fifth Periodic Reports in March 2000, its combined Sixth and Seventh Periodic Reports in June 2004 and its Eighth Periodic Report in June 2007.

3. The present Report, which covers the period from 2005 to 2008, combines the Ninth and Tenth Periodic Reports of Rwanda. It was examined by the African Commission during its 47th Ordinary Session held from 12 to 26 May 2010, in Banjul, The Gambia.

4. The Report was presented to the African Commission by Honourable Karugarama Tharcisse, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Rwanda. Other members of the delegation included Professor Joseph Nsengimana, Ambassador to the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in Ethiopia, Mr Rusanganwa Eugene, Principal State Attorney, and Mr Nkerabigwi Etienne, Treaty Reporting Project Coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

5. The Report highlights the developments that have taken place in the country in the area of human and peoples’ rights and measures put in place to comply with the country’s obligations under the African Charter.

6. During the presentation of the Report the delegation provided the African Commission with additional information, and further undertook to provide information which was not immediately available.

7. The African Commission had a constructive dialogue with the delegation, which allowed for a meaningful engagement of the State Party on their compliance with its obligations under the African Charter. In this regard, the African Commission welcomes the positive reaction of the delegation to the suggestions and recommendations made by the African Commission during the dialogue.

8. The present Concluding Observations are drawn from this constructive dialogue based on the content of the Report as well as the oral responses and information given by the delegation during the presentation of the Report.

9. The Concluding Observations highlight the positive aspects identified in the report, outline areas of concern and point out factors that are likely to restrict the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the African Charter in the country. They also provide recommendations, which if implemented, are likely to enhance the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in Rwanda.

II - Positive Aspects

The African Commission:

10. Commends the fact that both the format and presentation of the Report are in substantial conformity with the African Commission Guidelines for the Preparation of Periodic Reports.

11. Appreciates the fact that Rwanda is one of the States Parties to the African Charter to submit its Periodic Reports regularly in conformity with Article 62 of the African Charter.

12. Recognises the fact that the 2003 Constitution of Rwanda provides for a wide range of civil and political rights, as well as some economic, social and cultural rights, in particular, the right to form trade unions and the right to strike. The African Commission further notes with appreciation that Article 190 of the said Constitution provides for the immediate application at domestic level of international instruments ratified by Rwanda.

13. Appreciates the fact that the Constitution of Rwanda entrenches the policy and structure of power sharing at all levels of Government and different arms of the State.

14. Appreciates the reform of the judicial sector to bring justice closer to the people through the establishment of Mediation Committees; which mediate between parties to settle disputes before they reach the courts resulting in reducing the backlog of cases in the courts.

15. Further appreciates the community service program introduced by the Rwanda to enhance the rehabilitation of prisoners and ease congestion in prisons.

16. Welcomes the Government’s plan to wind up the gacaca courts in June 2010 with a provision to provide remedies for any injustices that might have occurred during their operation.

17. Welcomes the abolition of capital punishment through law No. 31/2007 relating to the abolition of the death penalty and the injunction not to extradite any suspect to countries where the death penalty is applicable unless they make an undertaking not to apply the death penalty.

18. Welcomes further the abolition of solitary confinement in respect of prisoners serving life sentence and the criminalisation of torture.

19. Notes with appreciation the high number of women in decision making positions at all levels of state institutions.

20. Welcomes the undertaking made by the delegation to ensure that the Robben Island Guidelines on the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture adopted by the African Commission in 2003 are disseminated and implemented by prison and police authorities.

21. Appreciates the measures and efforts taken by the Government to ensure education for all, including the introduction of free and compulsory basic education and free education up to tertiary level to children from disadvantaged groups such as genocide survivors, the Batwas as well as to children with special needs.

22. Further appreciates the measures taken to empower the youth and women through the establishment of the Internship Programme to help students gain experience in their field of study, and the establishment of the micro-credit scheme which has enabled many women, especially in the rural areas to access credit.

23. Commends the progress made by Rwanda towards reconciliation and peace building by using traditional institutions, like the Itorero, the traditional cultural education program designed to build national unity, and Abunzi, which mediate conflicts and advocate reconciliation.

24. Welcomes the various programmes, policies and strategies put in place to reduce poverty with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups, including:
 

Sustainable Growth for Jobs and Exports –which aims at the creation of jobs for young people; Vision 2020 Umurenge - a decentralized integrated rural development program designed to reduce poverty; The national policy for orphans and other vulnerable children and its strategic plan along with a National Program for children; The national population policy for sustainable development; and The policy for the elderly and people with disabilities.


25. Notes with appreciation the attention the Government has given to the health sector by putting in place:
 

A Community Based Health Insurance scheme (mutuelles de santé) which aims at providing health insurance to the whole population; A National Malaria Control Programme and the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission programme; A provision of free ARV drugs to people living with HIV; Psychosocial Consultation Centres in primary and secondary health care; and Health schemes such as the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), the Reproductive Health and Family Planning, and the Expanded Program on Immunization;


26. Commends Rwanda for ratifying the various international human rights treaties mentioned in the Report.

27. Welcomes the steps taken by Rwanda to ensure a clean and healthy environment, in particular the establishment of the National Program for adaptation on climate change (NAPA) and the training of experts to assess climate change in the country.

III- Factors Restricting the Enjoyment of the Rights Guaranteed in the African Charter

28. The African Commission notes that in spite of the progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country several challenges, including efforts to prevent a repeat of genocide, poverty, limited resources, ignorance, and illiteracy continue to mitigate against the effective enjoyment of human rights.

IV - Areas of Concern

While recognising the efforts of Rwanda to promote and protect human rights and to create awareness on the principles and provisions of the African Charter, the African Commission remains concerned that:

29. The Government continues to deny the concept and very existence of indigenous populations in the country and continues to treat and term the indigenous Batwa community as ‘historically marginalised people’.

30. The continuous denial to recognise the Batwa as indigenous populations does not afford the Government the opportunity to develop appropriate strategies suitable to enhance the welfare of the indigenous community, and this may account for the continuous underdevelopment, marginalisation and discrimination of the Batwa.

31. The meaning given to the concept of divisionism and genocide ideology are too broad and imprecise and have the potential to be misinterpreted and abused if not properly defined. The broad definitions have the potential in particular to restrict freedom of expression and participation, and seem incompatible with an open and democratic society.

32. There is inadequate training of judges, lawyers and prosecutors on the use of human rights in the administration of justice.

33. The conditions of detention remain unsatisfactory.

34. The enactment of the Access to Information Bill into law has been unduly delayed.

35. Reports indicate that the Law Relating to the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Ideology of 2008 is being used to victimise and intimidate perceived opponents of the regime in power.

36. More than 90% of the Rwandan working population is not protected by any labour laws as they are employed in the informal sector which remains unregulated.

37. There is no special support scheme to child headed households in spite of the large number of such children.

38. There is no specific legislation to regulate legal aid in Rwanda;

39. Rwanda has not ratified certain major African Union human rights instruments such as the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.

40. Rwanda has not made the declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Protocol Establishing the African Court).

41. Rwanda has not ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

42. Civil society organisations, including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in the field of human rights were not individually associated in the preparation of this Periodic Report.

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.

Forty-Seventh Ordinary Session
12 – 26 May 2010, in Banjul, The Gambia

Consideration of Reports submitted by States Parties under the Terms of Article 62 
of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Initial Periodic Report of the Republic of Botswana


I - Introduction

1. The Republic of Botswana (Botswana) is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) having ratified it on 17 July 1986.

2. The present Concluding Observations follow the presentation and examination of the Initial Periodic Reports of Botswana at the 46th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission). The Report covers human rights developments in the country since independence (1966).

3. The Report was presented to the African Commission by the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security, Honourable Dikgakgamatso Seretse. It highlights the developments that have taken place in the areas of human and peoples’ rights and measures put in place with a view to implement the country’s obligations under the African Charter.

4. The present Concluding Observations give an account of the positive aspects, and areas of concern identified in the Report. The comments, remarks and observations during the examination of the Report, enhanced the recommendations formulated after the dialogue.

II - Positive Aspects

The African Commission:

5. Welcomes the presentation of the Initial Periodic Report of Botswana in accordance with Article 62 of the African Charter and the fact that both the format and presentation of the Report are in conformity with the African Commission’s Guidelines for the Preparation of Periodic Reports.

6. Appreciates the quality and candidness of the Report and the constructive dialogue the African Commission had with the Delegation of Botswana. It further welcomes the positive reactions to the suggestions and recommendations made during the discussion.

7. Welcomes the additional information and answers to the questions provided by the delegation of Botswana during the examination of the Report, and further welcomes the undertaking made by the delegation to provide as soon as possible to the African Commission, answers to questions and additional information which were not immediately available, as well as to include such information in its next Periodic Report to the African Commission.

8. Commends Botswana for the successive and consistent high economic growth rate it has achieved through the years and for becoming one of the few middle income countries in Africa.

9. Welcomes the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman and also appreciates the work done by it in fighting maladministration and injustice in the public sector.

10. Commends Botswana for having a dynamic and independent judiciary which is playing an important role in the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

11. Notes that since its independence in 1966 Botswana had conducted successive elections which have been deemed to be free and fair, making the country a model for a functioning multiparty democracy, whose foundations are based on the promotion and protection of human rights.

12. Particularly congratulates Botswana for conducting peaceful elections in October 2009, which were declared free and fair by national and international observers.

13. Commends Botswana for ratifying major international and regional human rights instruments.

14. Welcomes the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Treaties, Conventions and Protocols in 2002 to ensure the existence of laws and effective mechanisms for the enforcement and assertion of human rights.

15. Commends Botswana for making education free up to the tertiary level and for having a special scheme that ensures that children in need attend school.

16. Commends Botswana for its social security programs for older persons and World War II veterans.

17. Commends Botswana for amending and enacting the following legislations which contribute to the economic, social and political empowerment of women:
 

The amendment of the Deeds Registry Act of 1996 which among others enable women to execute deeds and other required documents and to be registered in the deeds registry without their husbands’ consent and allow for immovable property to be transferred or ceded to a woman married in a community of property and allow the woman to have her own separate estate. The amendment of the Abolition of Marital Power Act in 2004 which provides for equality between men and women in marriage in community of property. The amendment of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to provide for the mandatory hearing of rape and related offences in closed proceedings. The amendment of Sections 141 and 142 of the Penal Code which brought about gender neutrality in relation to rape by moving it away from being phallus-specific. The amendment of Public Service Act to recognize sexual harassment as misconduct. The enactment of the Domestic Violence Act in 2007 which provides for the protection of victims of domestic violence and for matters related therewith. The amendment of the Citizenship Act in 1995 following court ruling in the Unity Dow case.


18. Further commends Botswana for acceding to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and for ratifying its Optional Protocol.

19. Notes the extensive consultations made with the people and various stakeholders that eventually led to the enactment of the Bogosi Act to Amend Sections 77, 78 and 79 of the Constitution to accommodate all tribes.

20. Appreciates the social safety net programs put in place like the Destitute Program, the Orphan Care Program, the Community Home Based Care Program and Remote Area Development Program for vulnerable members of the society.

21. Commends the efforts made by Botswana to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS by making Anti-Retroviral Treatment and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Programs widely available for people living with HIV/AIDS and through HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns.

22. Notes and appreciates the National Strategy for Poverty Reduction programme that tries to foster sustainable livelihoods, expand employment opportunities and improve access to social investment.

23. Commends Botswana for the progress made in ensuring the availability, accessibility and affordability of health care programs and facilities to the population.

24. Notes the human rights program introduced by the Botswana Police College.

III - Factors Restricting the Enjoyment of the Rights Guaranteed in the African Charter

25. The Report acknowledges that resource constraints have largely been responsible for Botswana not being able to meet all of its human rights obligations. It also indicates that the high rate of HIV infection has obliged the Government to shift resources to fight the AIDS pandemic.

26. The report further recognizes the deep rooted beliefs in unfriendly practices like corporal punishment and the death penalty which go against the good precepts of recognition and protection of human rights.

27. The report also reveals that the official definition of settlements for purposes of planned development in many instances do not match the population and geographical distribution of human settlement.

IV - Areas of Concern

While recognising the efforts of Botswana to promote and protect human rights and to create awareness on the principles and provisions of the African Charter, the African Commission remains concerned that:

28. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in the field of human rights like the Botswana Centre for Human Rights (Ditshwanelo) did not have an input into the preparation of the Report.

29. The Report does not address environmental issues and concerns.

30. Nothing has been mentioned in the Report about the measures taken by the State as to how it is fulfilling its obligations laid out in Articles 27 to 29 of the African Charter.

31. Corporal punishment is still allowed in schools and prisons as one form of punishment. The African Commission regards such forms of punishment as cruel, inhuman and degrading.
32. There is no organ that is mandated to look into human rights violations that are perpetrated by non-state actors.

33. The Constitution does not give recognition to economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

34. Despite all the efforts that Botswana has made to avail its citizens of economic, social and cultural rights Botswana has not yet ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

35. The reservations made by Botswana on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the definition of torture provided under the Constitution undermine the protection and guarantees that torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment will not be carried out by law enforcement officials. The African Commission is further concerned with the fact that there is no clear provision that criminalizes torture.

36. Botswana still retains the death penalty and does not have plans to abolish it soon. It is also one of the few African Countries that carries out the death penalty regularly.

37. The President has a very vast and unchecked power in expelling non-nationals out of the country and in branding an individual as dangerous to peace and order.

38. The participation of women in parliament and in other organs of the Government is very nominal.

39. Female prisoners do not have their own separate prison.

40. Convicted prisoners are only allowed visits by friends and relatives for twenty minutes each month, which in the opinion of the African Commission is insufficient.

41. Free legal assistance by the State is restricted only to persons charged with capital offence.

42. The Government is not giving the necessary attention to the rights and concerns of the Basawara people who were evicted from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

43. The language requirement for the election of the National Assembly discriminates against the poor/illiterate and minority groups who do not speak English.

44. There is no provision for free legal aid.

45. There is undue delay in the disposal of cases, especially pre-trial detention, leading to a backlog of cases and ultimately overcrowding in prisons and detention centres.

46. There is no legislation that makes basic education compulsory.

47. The fact that minors are required to be accompanied by their parents for HIV testing may discourage voluntary diagnosis of HIV/AIDS and may be contributing to the spreading of this pandemic.

V - Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of Botswana should:

48. Ensure that it involves all relevant NGOs in the preparation of its next Periodic Report, including the Botswana Centre for Human Rights (Ditshwanelo);

49. Ensure that the next Periodic Report include environmental issues, and should enumerate how the Government is fulfilling its obligations under Articles 27 – 29 of the African Charter.
50. Take urgent and concrete measures to abolish laws that allow corporal punishment in schools and prisons
.
51. Take steps towards establishing a National Human Rights Commission or elevate the Office of the Ombudsman to look into cases of violations of human rights by non-state actors.
52. Expedite the implementation of the Judicial Case Management System to address the problems of backlog of cases;

53. Take the necessary steps to amend the Constitution to incorporate economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

54. Ratify the ICESCR.

55. Undertake to make a declaration accepting the competence of the African Court under Article 34(6) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

56. Consider withdrawing the reservations made by it on CAT and amend the provisions of the Constitution on torture in accordance with internationally and regionally recognized norms and standards. The Government should also legislate laws that criminalize torture.

57. Take the necessary steps to institute a moratorium on the death penalty, and to this effect, the African Commission recommends that the Government works closely with the former’s Working Group on the Death Penalty;

58. Take legislative measures so that the President’s powers in expelling non-nationals out of the country and in branding a non-national as dangerous to peace and order can be subjected to judicial control.

59. Put in place mechanisms to encourage and promote women’s participation in the social, economic and political affairs of the State.

60. Make the necessary arrangements to build a separate prison for female prisoners.

61. Conduct consultations with all the relevant stakeholders involved in the administration of justice, including families of detainees with a view to increase the frequency and time duration of visit by friends and relatives of convicted prisoners.

62. Take the necessary legislative measures and material preparations to extend free legal assistance to all crimes where the accused person cannot afford to pay legal representation fees. Such assistance could be means tested.

63. Start implementing the 2006 decisions of the High Court in relation with the Basawara people of the Kalahari. In this regard, it should focus on the cultural rights and socio-economic needs of the Basawara people.

64. Consult and/or work closely with the African Commission’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa in finding practical ways of implementing the decisions of the Court.

65. Take the necessary steps to amend the provision of the Constitution which makes the English language a requirement for election to the National Assembly.

66. Promote civil societies and NGOs that provide free legal aid and should also enact laws that regulate legal aid.

67. Take the necessary measures to legislate laws that ensure basic compulsory education for all.

68. Look into ways of amending the law that requires minors to be accompanied by their parents for HIV testing.

69. Include standards like the Robben Island Guidelines in the human rights program of the Botswana Police College and the training of prison officers.

70. 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.

جمهورية مصر العربية: التقرير الدوري الأول ، 1986-1992

قدمت: آذار 09 , 1992

الملاحظات الختامية: Available