Rwanda will today, Friday December 8, 2017, join the rest of the world to mark the International Day of Human Rights.
The event scheduled to take place in Musanze District in the Northern Province seeks to promote a drug-free Rwanda with an understanding that drug abuse is a genesis of all the human rights violations” according to the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NCHR) Madeleine Nirere.
According to Nirere, a drug-free society is more likely to experience less cases of human rights violations hence the need to encourage young Rwandans to shun drugs if the country is to have a responsible future generation. ”. According to the research conducted by National Commission for Human Rights in 2016, drug abuse was one of the main causes of human rights violations (including child abuse, conflicts among families, assaults and battery)on the rate of 20.3%. Therefore, the eradication of drug abuse among youth should contribute to the promotion of human rights and preventing human rights abuse.
The global theme for International Human rights is stated as “STAND UP FOR SOMEONE’S RIGHT TODAY” while Rwanda will mark the day under the national theme“Let us protect Human Rights while preventing drug abuse among youths
The National Commission forHumanRightshas planned a series of events intended to promote and protect human rights which will be held successively during Human rights week which will come to the climax Friday.
Based on the themes, there will be a number of activities throughout the course of the week (from December 1 to 7) which will emphasize the need for protection and promotion of human rights across different areas in the country.
Human Rights Week will include the following activities;
03/12/2017: The National Commission for Human Rights, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Rwanda National Police, there was a televised talkshow which fully explored the theme of the year. The same day was also International Human Rights of People with Disabilities. The National Commission for Human Rights joined other institutions to commemorate the day.
05-06/12/2017: In partnership with National Youth Council and Civil society, there were an anti drug abuse campaigns in relation to the national human rights day theme. Deliberations shed more light on the need for protection and promotion of human rights with emphasis on prevention of drug abuse especially in some districts that registered high levels of drug abuse and trafficiking. These districts are mainly located on the borderlines of Rwanda with DR Congo, Burundi and Uganda. They include; Nyagatare, Kirehe, Burera, Gicumbi, Rubavu, Rusizi, HuyeDistricts and Nyarugenge Districtin the City of Kigali.
05-07/12/2017: There was a televised spots aimed at the promotion of Human rights day on the public broadcaster.
07/12/2017: Supplementary publications were published in major print and online media platforms such asImvahoNshya and Igihe.com.
08/12/2017 will mark the climax of events with the celebration of International Human Rights Day in Musanze District. Among other activities on the day include Cycling race and the winners will be awarded.
According to Nirere, the cycling race would act as an opportunity to attract as many young people as possible so that anti-drug abuse message, as stipulated in the theme, can reach as many possible victims as possible.
“The message we want to give out on the day is for the youths and bringing them together is an opportunity to engage them and discourage them from taking drugs because they are the future of Rwanda.” She noted.
She added that the race will also be yet another medium of encouraging youth to engage in sports activities to develop better health disciplines that would prevent them from isolation that is more likely to develop bad habits such as drug abuse.
Several government officials and members of diplomatic corps as well as heads of International organisations operating in Rwanda are expected to attend.
About International Human Rights Day
The 20th Century was characterized by the highest possible incidents of human rights violations. It is during this century that we saw World War 1 and 2, three recorded genocides including the Armenian Genocide, Holocaust and the most recent 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
In bid to prevent such atrocities around the world, United Nations was established in 1945. The international convention governing the formations of global community emphasizes the importance of human rights as the pillar of global transformation.
In December 9, 1948 the UN General Assembly Adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
A day later, on December 10, 1948, the General Assembly also adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This day has since been regarded as the International Day of Human Rights. The UN comes up with annual theme to commemorate this significant day but each country steps its national agenda based on the international theme based on the existing local issues.
As stipulated in Article 5 of the law governing the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) provided for by the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 4th June 2003 as amended to date--which established the Commission an independent national Commission especially charged of the promotion and protection of human rights mainly through the marking of the International Human Rights Day.
It is in that regard that NCHR has set a side this Friday December 8, 2017 to commemorate the International Day for Human Rights an event that is set to be held in MusanzeDistrict in the Northern Province.