Today, the 25th of January 2021, Rwanda will be reviewed for the third time under the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism. Rwanda was reviewed for the first time on 24th January 2011 and for the second time on 4th November 2015.
According to the outcome report of the 2015 second review, Rwanda received 229 recommendations in total. Overall, 152 recommendations (66.4%) enjoyed the support of Rwanda; including 50 recommendations that enjoyed the support of Rwanda and were included in the implementation roadmap and 102 recommendations enjoyed the support of Rwanda but were considered to be implemented or in the process of being implemented. 77 recommendations (33.6 % ) did not enjoy the support of Rwanda.
As indicated in various reports which form the basis of the second review namely; the National Report, the Compilation of UN Information and the Summary of stakeholders; the Center for the Rule of Law Rwanda (CERULAR) commends efforts by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with its partners (Development partners, Civil Society Organizations, and the Private Sector) in undertaking legal and policy reforms as well as strategic actions and programmatic interventions aimed at addressing both the underlying and immediate causes of various human rights deficits, ranging from civil and political rights, economic, social rights to rights of special groups such as women, children and persons with disabilities outlined in the recommendations received during the second review.
Cumulatively, these efforts have yielded into tangible dividends in terms of contributing towards the enjoyment of human rights by Rwandan citizens and residents.
However, there are still concerns of human rights gaps. "CERULAR notes with concern that, there still exist a number of human rights challenges and gaps which need to be fixed especially in the areas of safeguarding fundamental freedoms to expression and association; the right to due process and access to justice, the right to liberty and security of persons, including freedom from torture, protection from enforced disappearance, freedom from all forms of gender based violence; and the right to decent living conditions especially vulnerable groups such as historically marginalized groups, persons with disabilities, LGBTIs and sex workers," John Mudakikwa, Executive Director at CERULAR said in a Press release.
Mr. Mudakikwa said CERULAR encourages the Government of Rwanda, during the 3rd review, to accept all transformational recommendations received and to collaboratively work with all different stakeholders towards their full and effective implementation.
"CERULAR commits to support and contribute towards Rwanda’s Journey to respect, protect and fulfil all human rights for all through effective and mutual collaboration with relevant government agencies, development partners and partner civil society organizations," he concluded.
John Mudakikwa, Executive Director, the Center for the Rule of Law Rwanda (CERULAR)