The New Times (Kigali)

10 December 2012

Rwanda: Rights Body Targets Youth

The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has called on the country's youth to be at the forefront in the promotion of human rights.

A commissioner at NCHR, Etienne Niyonzima, said this in Kigali yesterday, while briefing the media about the forthcoming International Human Rights Day slated for today.

He said that the commission would train about 200 students from all universities countrywide on human rights as part of activities to mark the Human Rights Day.

"The youth are very strong and easy to be informed about human rights and play a key role to sensitise and inform all Rwandans about their rights," said Niyonzima.

"After the training, the youth will be asked to go to their respective communities to pass on the acquired knowledge. We believe the community is the engine and strength of the country; it would therefore be more productive to use the youth to spread the information."

The youth will be trained about international convention of human rights, social relations and culture, child's rights, and general human rights among others.

According to Niyonzima, the dominant issues of violation of human rights include property, family and land rights violations and rape, among others.

"But the commission does its best to engage in solving the problems at the community level. If the issues are unresolved at that level, we assist them to take them to courts until they are resolved," Niyonzima said

According to another commissioner, Laurent Nkongori, the human rights body had shown signs of progress.

"The NCHR was established under government law and it is recognised in the Rwandan constitution which shows it is strong. We also do reports for those abusing human rights and those reports show how strong human rights activities are. Our strength is not that of an army but the truth," said Nkongori.

He added that the commission has the right to supervise government activities and take legal action if necessary to advocate for people's rights.

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