Rwanda is moving steadily towards full implementation of the 50 recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council and will be ready to score highly by the next Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled for November 2020.
This was stated by Providence Umurungi, the head of the department of International Justice and Judicial Cooperation at the Ministry of Justice;
UPR assesses the state of performance on human rights ranging from civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all UN member states.
Rwanda’s human rights record has been reviewed twice; the first in 2011 and the second in 2015.
Speaking yesterday at the stakeholders’ workshop to follow up on the implementation of the UPR recommendations, Umurungi said that though most of the recommendations had been worked on successfully, there were some that required legal framework, which she says is currently being worked on tirelessly.
“We are confident that we will deliver. We have gone beyond 50 per cent. When it comes to rights to finance, education, health and the general social welfare of the local community, we are doing well but we strive to improve every day.
“Then there are recommendations that require us to come up with laws and fortunately, soon the penal code and the laws that are attached to it will be gazetted,” she said.
In 2015, Rwanda was given 83 recommendations but 7 were rejected on grounds of incompatibility with domestic laws and the Constitution.
Among the recommendations rejected was becoming a signatory of the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court.
The Minister of Justice Johnston Busingye at the time said that another 26 recommendations would enjoy the support of Rwanda in principle but could not be accepted for implementation at the time because it was difficult to guarantee that the requirements necessary for their implementation would readily available within the reporting period.
The Head of Political Parties and Civil Society Organisations at Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), Justus Kangwagye, commended the work put into implementing the recommendations.
“There has been a lot of work put into making sure that we deliver by the time of the review and as you have seen, recommendations that, for instance, call for more support to the media have been considered which explains laws like the decriminalization of defamation” Kangwagye said.
According to the roadmap to 2020 reporting, 12 recommendations were to be implemented by the end of 2017, 29 by the end of 2018 and 9 recommendations by the end of 2019.