Some19.6 per cent of the population in Rwanda is still not aware of its human rights, according to a report released last week by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR).
Most of the complaints received by the commission revolved around property, education and justice rights, and sexual violence, especially concerning children and domestic violence.
The commission however noted that in the next six years, they would concentrate on human rights awareness campaigns to reduce the number significantly.
Our reporter, Sharon Kantengwa asked a cross section of Rwandans what can be done to increase awareness around human rights in Rwanda?
I think that human rights activists need to start teaching about human rights from village level but that means that we need to educate local leaders too because some of them do not know about it. I think starting from the grass root level is the easiest way for everyone to learn and know more about their rights.
Christian Intwari, Events organiser
Most people think that protection of human rights is about establishing laws and regulations but it doesn’t end there. More effort and action have to be done, including advocacy, education, which should be emphasised.
Rural people do not know anything concerning their rights and it’s their right to know that there are laws and ways of protecting their human rights. We need to do our part as the educated and know more about the protection of human rights as well as spread awareness
Fiona Doreen Ashimwe, legal assistant
Human Rights talks should be done in communities. I would suggest after Umuganda. This is when the community would get an opportunity to know their rights together and it would help them have the same information about their rights and no one would abuse the other since they are all aware of what is at stake.
Community leaders should make it a responsibility to teach Human Rights during their community meetings. This is how awareness will be increased.
Serrah Galos, photographer
Individuals should do their own research. This is your life so you have to know your right to exist. Secondly, the government could teach people what their human rights are.
Also, people sometimes are too busy to actually read but sometimes some information is presented to them in different platforms. Let me give you an example, I went to Oshen King Faisal and read one of their patients’ right, which was privacy. You can decide who can be present.
There is so much information like that presented, not everywhere but that’s another point. I think people also should be curious and ask institutions like schools, restaurants, hospitals, even their sectors to name a few. Hosting shows on TV, writing a journal, radios would help too.
Claudine Utuje Mwangacucu, teacher