The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: New Report Commends State of Human Rights in Rwanda

Rwanda has registered tremendous achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights, according to the national human rights body.

The president of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Madeleine Nirere, noted this on Wednesday while presenting a report to parliament on the commission's activities and achievements for the last fiscal year.

"Basing on the report on the activities and achievements of the commission from July 2011 to June 2012, it is evident that the country has made huge steps in human rights promotion," said Nirere.

The commission's activities include education, sensitisation and protection of human rights.

During the period, the commission trained 1,883 people in various categories with the objective of increasing their knowledge on human rights, according to the report. It also received 1,925 complaints of human right violations.

Nirere said the commission investigated 79.4 per cent of all complaints it received but revealed that others were still under investigation. She added that the investigated cases were handed over to relevant institutions for resolution and 69.4 per cent of them were resolved.

When prodded by MPs to explain why the rest of the complaints remained unsettled, Nirere said the commission will ensure a quick resolution.

"Some complaints need to be resolved progressively; an example are disputes being handled by the courts," Nirere noted.

She further pointed out that after visiting 15 prisons countrywide, there was consensus that the rights of prisoners were generally respected, though some problems persisted hence the need to settle them to promote and protect the rights of prisoners.

These include overcrowding and old buildings.

Other related problems include uninsured prisoners going about their duties in spite of occasional instances of occupational accidents as well as lack of medical insurance cover for prisoners in the Cyangugu Prison.

"The National Human Right Commission requests the Ministry of Internal Security to seek urgent solutions to these human rights problems noted in prisons," Nirere said.

She said that there were great achievements regarding the rights of people living with disabilities but pointed out that a lot remained to be done, including the rights of children with disabilities.

On the latter, Nirere said there was inadequacy of teaching materials for the children with visual impairments as well as lack of requisite training to their teachers.

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