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Rwanda: GBV, drug abuse among challenges hindering human rights progress

There is a milestone in the fight for human rights in the country, however, today, gender based violence, human trafficking, drug abuse among the youth remain the biggest challenges in this battle, the National Commission for Human Rights, revealed.

This was part of key message delivered by Madeleine Nirere, the chairperson of the commission after monthly community work “Umuganda” held on Saturday, 30th November 2019.

The community work was coincided with  the launch of a ‘human rights week’ in Kamonyi District, on November 30, ahead of the celebration of the 71st anniversary on the universal declaration of human rights and human rights day on 10th December 2019.

Different activities aiming at explaining the content of universal declaration of human rights and citizen responsibilities for adequate living will be conducted in this week long, Nirere said.

She said that Rwanda has made a significant step to protecting human rights in domains like security, access to education for all, necessary social services but now child sexual abuse, teenage pregnancies, drug abuse among youths, human trafficking make a big threat to human rights.

“There is security in the country, citizens’ standards of living are improving, education for all and health services are ensured but teenage pregnancies, child abuse, human trafficking remain problematic in the country” she reiterates.

Nirere called upon the youths to play a key role in fighting for human rights as per 2019 celebration of universal declaration of human rights theme “Youth, stand up for Human Rights”.

“We wish the youths become drivers of changes in human rights. They are future leaders, they are strong enough to bring about changes the country wants in economy, education, citizen wellbeing and in other development programs.” She said.

According to Rwanda Governance Scorecard (RGS) 6th Edition, the rule of law ranked 3rd with overall performance of 84.7%. It is an indicator of efforts in improving service delivery in the judicial system, Chief Justice, Sam Rugege, said.

“ As we explained during the launch of 2019 judicial year, the judicial sector has seen significant improvement. Today court cases no longer delay as it used to be. A court case take four months compared to years it was taking in the past. Even if we still have a long way to go, we have made a good step” he said.

The President of the Supreme Court, Prof. Sam Rugege launching ‘Huma Rights Week’ in Rukoma Sector of Kamonyi District

He called for the citizen participation in anti-crimes activities by reporting the cases of human rights violation to competent organs for them to live peaceably.

Since January 2019, 1506 cases of GBV were registered all over the country with 242 cases of child abuse among children under five years; 780 cases of children aged between 11 and 17and 302 of over 18 years old.Particularly in Kamonyi District, 187 cases of child sexual abuse reported, among them 77 gave birth this year.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. The Universal Declaration begins by recognizing that ‘the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’. It declares that human rights are universal – to be enjoyed by all people, no matter who they are or where they live.

Rwanda will celebrate the 71st anniversary in Bugesera District at national level on 10th December 2019.This year’s theme is “Youth, stand up for Human Rights.”


By Emmanuel Kanamugire




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