By Elias Hakizimana.
Referred to its definition, Universal Periodic Review Recommendation (UPR) is a mechanism of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) that emerged from the 2005 UN reform process to recognize the human rights fundamental freedoms.
Both governments and civil society organizations have responsibilities to preserve the dignity of individuals and communities by promoting social justice.
Strive Foundation Rwanda (SFR), a local non-governmental organization that promotes and advocates for social justice and economic empowerment opportunities for vulnerable groups is raising awareness among different local government institutions and civil societies so that they clearly understand UPR recommendations and how they can play their role in the implementation in order to sustain human rights.
The call was delivered by SFR yesterday on December 14, 2018 during the meeting with civil societies to share field findings and ideas with civil societies on better implementation of UPR recommendations on human rights.
The findings were gathered from Nyamasheke and Ruzizi districts on how the community understands human rights recommended by UPR.
Among the the universal periodic review recommendations on human rights include Women and young girls’ rights, Laws amendment to tackle some challenges by some articles, access to justice, Finance and economic rights, continue supporting the efforts in fighting against the genocide, Children Rights, among many others that are about 50 recommendations.
Eugene Rusanganwa, the Advisor to the Deputy Chief Justice at Rwanda’s Supreme Court and Independent consultant in Human Hights told the media that the role of NGOs/CSOs is needed to implement such recommendations during the period of a year ahead of submitting the report in Geneva in 2019.
“NGOs are not aware of the given recommendations, when both NGOs and the government have a clear and common understanding, then the implementation will be easy and faster,”
Adolf. N. Musafili, Executive Secretary of Youth Umbrella in peace building explained that they are focusing on international laws on human rights that are useful in conflict prevention and resolving.
So far, this umbrella is doing advocacy campaigns for human being basic rights including rights to education for the youth. “We called local authorities to tackle school dropouts issue and some illiterate children. We observed a big number of children who did not go to school and they are the ones who experience consequences of conflicts in families. We wanted that laws can be the sources of tackling such conflicts,” Musafili said.
The youth umbrella for peace building has over 5,000 youth saving and credit associations that contribute to their seed capital to boost their welfare and source of job creation.
Tresphore Kabera, Project facilitator of UPR awareness said that in the recent assessment with the citizens, they found that they do not know how to package them when it comes to the human rights recommended UPR.
Family conflicts as key challenge
“Many gaps are based in family conflicts. We found many children around Kivu belt in Western Province who ae in difficult life conditions, they are in risky jobs that expose them to absenteeism in classes and finally the school dropouts, and it is against their rights to education.” said Kabera.
Evariste Murwanashyaka, Programs Manager of the Umbrella of Human Rights Organizations in Rwanda (CLADHO) said that they analyzed the implementation of twelve recommendations by UPR.
Among the 12 recommendations include the fight against children sexual violence, promoting education for all, catering for street children; enhance children participation in programming and budgeting, etc.
He commented on rehabilitation centers whereby some children are taken there in unlawful manner.
“I think this also should be taken care of during the UPR recommendations to improve on the situation of how children should be taken to rehabilitation centers, there must be clear identification of who must take these children there,” Murwanashyaka stressed.
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