Government agencies told to act on rights report

The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has urged government agencies to take measures to address issues highlighted in its report in relation to violation of human rights.
Madeleine (L), with Niyonzima Etienne, a commissioner in  Parliament last month.(T.Kisambira)
Madeleine (L), with Niyonzima Etienne, a commissioner in Parliament last month.(T.Kisambira)

The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has urged government agencies to take measures to address issues highlighted in its report in relation to violation of human rights. 

Madeleine Nirere, the commission’s chairperson made the call, yesterday, during parliamentary review of the 2013/14 NCHR report, released last month.

The review is being done by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and fight against Genocide.

Nirere presented the commission’s report for the period 2013-2014 to a joint session of Senators and Deputies last month.

The report noted that, overall, a positive trend in the respect of human rights was observed in the country during the reporting period.

Improvements were mostly observed in the judicial sector, governance and management of land resources.

But Nirere said more improvement was needed in service delivery at all levels of government and called for more facilitation for journalists to access public information and for inmates’ rights in prisons to be improved.

Nirere, however, faulted public organs which she said take long to implement recommendations the commission makes with regard to human rights violations. She declined to name the organs in question.

Her comments were echoed by Laurent Nkongoli, a commissioner at NHRC.

“We quite often write to some of the organs implicated in rights issues but hardly get any response,” Nkongoli said.

MP Edouard Bampoliki suggested that leaders of institutions cited in rights violations should be penalised in accordance with the law.

MP François Byabarumwanzi, the committee chairperson, told The New Times that sloppiness to implement recommendations had been noticed in all previous reports.

“We (legislators) will discuss with the commission and implicated organs/leaders and make sure that these recommendations are implemented,” Byabarumwanzi said, adding, however, that the commission should not end at making resolutions.

The report indicates that the commission received 1,116 cases with 654 of the total cases being forwarded to relevant government institutions for action.

It is noted that about 63 per cent of the cases were resolved while 253 are still under investigations.

Lawmakers have previously raised concerns to NCHR that Gender Based Violence (GBV) at home remains a big challenge, many of them citing cases where spouses kill their partners.

Cases registered

Official figures indicate that between July and August, this year, 567 cases related to GBV and child abuse were reported across the country, where 12 people were killed and over 60 others seriously injured by their spouses, neighbours or relatives.

The anti-GBV and child protection directorate at the Rwanda National Police has also said that a total of 3,127 cases of defilement were registered between 2012 and 2013.

At least 325 cases of rape were also recorded over the same period while 25 men were also killed by their spouses and 67 women killed by their husbands in the same period.

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