Visit of the National Commission for Human Rights to the National Rehabilitation Service

The leadership of both institutions after the meeting (Photo: NCHR, 2018)

On August 8, 2018, authorities from the National Commission for Human Rights visited the National Rehabilitation Service (NRS) to share the findings of the monitoring of the respect of human rights in 28 Transit Centers including Gitagata Rehabilitation Center. 

The Commission raised some issues observed during the monitoring, including the overpopulation in the centers, especially in the Kigali Transit Center, old buildings and infrastructure, insufficient staff, lack of adequate equipment and the issue of hygiene, and inadequate policy determining the duration of stay in the centers. 

The National Rehabilitation Service assured the Commission that adequate measures were being taken to address the issues raised, and among other things, a modern rehabilitation center was being built at Gitagata. It was also expected that the issue of staffing will be addressed through ongoing restructuring, and requests will be made to relevant authorities to allow the NRS direct management of all transit centers. 

On the issue of prolonged, the Executive Secretary stressed that the policy and a law determining the mission, organisation and functioning of the Transit and Rehabilitation Centers were clear in that they made provisions on the criteria of people who should go through rehabilitation and transit centers, and an ad hoc district Committee in each district was tasked with the triage and determination of the duration of the stay in those centers. He added that, the length of stay depended much on the cause of placement in the center and such decision is taken within 14 days from the date the individual entered the center. He also assured the Commission that cases that warranted criminal prosecution are usually referred to Prosecution without delay. 

Authorities from both institutions agreed to explore mutual areas of cooperation and to work together to iron issues that may impede on human rights of the population in the transit and rehabilitation centers. The National Commission for Human Rights also promised to conduct advocacy to strengthen the capacity of NRS as well as improvement of the living conditions in the transit centers.