On March 9th, 2016, the National Commission for Human Rights organized a workshop aiming at validating the Report on the findings of the assessment conducted on the implementation of the Concluding Observations of the Initial Report of Rwanda on the Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. The assessment on the implementation of the concluding observations adopted by Committee against Torture was carried out from 23/10/2015 to 3/11/2015 in collaboration with some Civil Society Organizations for the promotion and protection of human rights.
The assessment aimed at helping the Government to know how far it is with the implementation of the Concluding Observations and accelerate the implementation of not yet implemented ones before the presentation of the next periodic report by Rwanda scheduled in June 2016. It was conducted on the implementation of 24 concluding observations adopted on CAT and the purpose of the assessment was to gather information in public institutions and organs.
Those who carried out the assessment were divided into three teams and were from the National Commission for Human Rights as well as some civil society organizations, among others LIPRODHOR, JUSTICE VOICE, UYISENGA N’IMANZI, CLADHO, CESTRAR and GOVERNANCE FOR AFRICA (GFA).
During the assessment, members of the three teams monitored the implementation of the concluding observations according to four clusters of human rights, namely: Legislation, Access to Justice, Capacity Building and Reporting. The assessment findings revealed that out of the 24 concluding observations adopted by the Committee against Torture, 13 thus 54.16 % were fully implemented, 7 thus 29.16 % were partially implemented, whereas 4 thus 16.66 % were not yet implemented.
Thirteen (13) fully implemented concluding observations are those related with access to justice and living conditions in detention premises, seven (7) partially implemented concluding observations are related to conducting investigations on CAT which findings are not disseminated and the sub-category on access to justice are fully implemented while specific request are not done. Finally, the four (4) remaining not yet implemented concluding observations are related to the lack of conclusion on investigation conducted on specific cases and the ratification of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED).
Concerning the ten fully implemented concluding observations, the assessing of implementation of concluding observations indicated globally that this was possible because of the establishment and implementation of new policies and strategies, and the adoption and promulgation of new laws.
Most of the concluding observations that were found partially implemented are those where the Committee requested for detailed information, implementation of enacted laws, concluding observations that are not disseminated or lack of statistical data on some cases (for example some of them need for illustrative cases, specific information, cases, laws, policies, strategies, …). Others are about strategies towards implementation that are still on-going.
Some concluding observations have not been implemented mainly due to three essential things: First,it wasdue to the factthat some policies and strategies are still under discussions in relevant organs (for example the ratification of the Convention on the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance). It was also because of many institutions that are supposed to implement some of the concluding observations are not aware of their existence; and finally, after the adoption of concluding observations, the level of dissemination among institutions is very low.
The analysis of the data collected in the state institutions in charge of the implementation of the concluding observations issued after the presentation of the initial report on the Convention against Torture (CAT/C/RWA/1), the National Commission for Human Rights in collaboration with civil society Organizations has found that some of them have been fully implemented, other have been partially implemented and other have not yet been implemented.
As the next periodic report on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is scheduled to be presented not later than 1 June 2016, State Institutions in charge of the implementation of those concluding observations should take urgent measures for their fully implementation before that period.
The Commission and the institutions that collaborated with it in the assessment will follow up, on a daily basis, the implementation of each concluding observations.