Busingye urges youth to be ambassadors of change

Justice Minister Johnston Busingye speaks at a past event in the capital Kigali. File.

The Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, has called on the youth to stand up for human rights and leverage their power to change the world for the better. 

Busingye was speaking in Kigali on the occasion of 71st anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Tuesday. 

The Day, marked annually on December 10, is observed globally and this year’s theme was “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights”.

Busingye, who doubles as the Attorney General, said young people are all leaders in the making today, adding that it was imperative to groom them to be human rights ambassadors for purposes of “sustainability, continuity and good governance”.

“Youth have a present and a future to think about, to plan for, or to defend.  Youth today have the networks and connections that transcend geographical boundaries which enables them to share experience and positively influence governance,” he said. 

He also outlined what the Rwandan Government is doing to help achieve this goal, pointing at how the country’s laws and in policies place a great deal of importance on the role, rights and priorities of the youth.

“Youth platforms have been created to institutionalise (the youth) space. These platforms assure youth of the information and capacity they need to understand, sustain and expand the human rights observance space.  We work to ensure that the youth are fully involved today so that they can sustain tomorrow,” he said. 

He pointed out that the Government will continue to make the necessary planning and investments to ensure that the youth have meaningful participation in the country’s development agenda.

The minister cited the recently adopted National Strategy for Transformation (NST) I, which he said will help empower the youth in creating business through entrepreneurship and access to finance. He added that this will help ensure digital literacy, and prevention and fight against drug abuse and trafficking.

Despite the fact that Rwanda acceded to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1962, successive former regimes committed wanton human rights violations that would later culminate into the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, he said.  

“In spite of Rwanda’s Accession to the Declaration, the Genocide against Tutsi happened costing us over a million lives and sunk our country into near oblivion,” Busingye observed.  

Post-Genocide Rwanda, however, he noted, “is committed to the importance of human rights in rebuilding the country.”


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