11 December 2018

Rwanda: Minister Busingye Reiterates Rwanda's Transparency in Human Rights Reporting

Justice Minister Johnston Busingye on Monday stressed the Government of Rwanda's commitment to keep the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights an open and inclusive process to all stakeholders and partners.

He was speaking from Parliament on Monday at the event to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which coincided with the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day.

"In the same way, we encourage all partners who do shadow or parallel reports to share them in advance so we work together to deliver on those recommendations, or agree to keep the engagement going, to avoid the secretive practices that characterised previous sessions," he said.

"I am happy to report that Government and the majority of Partners have already agreed to work this way. However if some feel more comfortable to act secretly all the way to Geneva, still they should feel free to do so. We will understand it in the context of the rights of the minority."

Busingye also reiterated the government commitment and readiness to continue collaborating with all stakeholders to advance the cause of human rights.

The recent Rwanda Governance Score Card (RGS 2018), he said, shows that respect for human rights, compliance with obligations under core international human rights instruments, media freedom, rule of law, democratic rights and freedoms and Security and safety are all doing well, "although there is always ground to cover."

At the international level, the minister noted, most international indices show that Rwanda is not doing badly in safety and security, in competitiveness, in being a good destination for conferences and events.

The 2018 Gallup Global Law and Order report has ranked Rwanda the second safest place in Africa.

Rwanda is second in Africa, after Mauritius, in the Global Competitiveness report 2017/18 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Busingye added: "We continue to be modestly ranked in fighting corruption, reliability of police services, and independence of the judiciary. Beyond our borders, Rwanda has made her modest contribution in protecting people whose rights were or are imperiled by war and conflict."

"We continue to believe, and I hope it is not in dispute, that the indignity inherent in poverty, illiteracy, disease, inequality, ethnic bigotry, injustice, lack of decent shelter and cyclic hunger not only militates against the enjoyment of all other rights, it also makes people vulnerable and puts them permanently at the mercy of the elements."

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