7 February 2018

Rwanda: Government Upbeat on Achieving UN Rights Recommendations

The Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, has called for concerted efforts from everyone to ensure the country fully implements recommendations on human rights by a UN mechanism.

Busingye, who is also the Attorney General, was speaking at a meeting to review the mid-term implementation of different indicators on human rights which were recommended under the UN-backed Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The meeting brought together members of the Treat Body Reporting Task Force that comprises government institutions, private sector, civil society organisations, academia, international organisations and development partners.

Established by a United Nations General Assembly resolution in 2006, UPR is a unique process which involves periodic reviews of the human rights records of all UN Member States.

In 2015, Rwanda underwent its second review where the country undertook to implement 50 new recommendations.

They include adopting the National Human Rights Action plan, increasing the number of detention facilities at police custody, media reforms among others.

While reporting the status of the implementation, yesterday, Busingye called upon stakeholders and concerned institutions to get fully involved in the implementation of the UPR recommendations.

"We still have two years to the next review. I would like to urge all stakeholders in general and the institutions that are directly involved in the implementation in particular, to put more efforts in the implementation of their concerned recommendations," said the minister.

Regarding the progress review of the implementation of all 50 recommendations, Busingye explained that there was full assurance of implementing up to 90 per cent of the recommendations within one year.

"I am happy to report that already 8 per cent thereof are fully implemented. The rest are also on track. On the basis of the roadmap for the implementation and demonstrated commitment by implementing institutions, Government is optimistic that all the recommendations will be implemented before the next reporting period," minister Busingye explained.

He added that the Government of Rwanda looks beyond the recommendations because it is a commitment of the State to ensure that every citizen enjoys the human rights secured by law".

Andrews Kananga, the Executive Director of Legal Aid Forum said the Government has all the 50 UPR recommendations in national goals.

"For example, laws relating to media freedoms are under the revised penal code that was recently passed by parliament and we expect a lot when it is finally published in the Official Gazette," he said.

Rwanda's next review is expected in 2020.


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