Two years after they were adopted at the 64th Ordinary Session, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has published their Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Combined 11th, 12th, and 13th Periodic Report of the Republic of Rwanda.
Part B details Rwanda’s implementation of the Maputo Protocol:
“The Commission notes that there are many positive aspects regarding Rwanda’s compliance with its obligations under the Maputo Protocol which it ratified on 25 June 2004.
The Commission commends the Republic of Rwanda for submitting its Initial Periodic Report in accordance with Article 26 of the Maputo Protocol which is well-articulated and in line with the Guidelines for State Reporting under the Maputo Protocol.”
The Commission goes on to commend Rwanda for various legislation, infrastructure, policies and strategies which are aligned with the Protocol and its various articles.
There were five Areas of Concern:
The Commission appreciates the detailed responses provided by Rwanda to the various questions regarding implementation of the Maputo Protocol. However, the Commission would appreciate more information on the concerns raised by the Commission hereunder.
The Commission is concerned that following the Delegation’s commitment to provide additional information to the Commission on issues raised during presentation of the Report, information has not been forthcoming which also impacts on the substance of the present Concluding Observations.
The Commission is concerned that there is no information on whether Rwanda has enacted specific laws on the Elimination of Harmful Cultural Practices.
The Commission is concerned that even though Rwanda has enacted the new Law governing matrimonial regimes, donations and successions, which guarantees equal inheritance rights, the Report does not include information about the impact of this law since its enactment in 2016.
The Commission is concerned about the need of adequate housing especially among widows and female headed households.
The Commission concluded by giving the following Recommendations to the Government of Rwanda:
The Government should continue to comply with its obligations under Article 26 of the Maputo Protocol, including by implementing the Commission’s recommendations.
Article 5: Elimination of Harmful Practices
i. In its next Periodic Report, the Commission would appreciate more information on other forms of harmful cultural practices that exist in Rwanda;
ii. Adopt laws to improve its programs and policies with a view to eradicating harmful cultural practices that exist in the country.
Article 13: Economic and Social Welfare Rights
In its next review period, the Commission would appreciate information on the extent to which the new law governing matrimonial regimes is being implemented and its impact in the country. The Commission would also appreciate information on whether the new legislation expressly addresses or prohibits common discriminatory practices that still exist in Rwanda, especially under customary law as they relate to inheritance.
Cooperation with the Commission
The Commission urges Rwanda to provide in its next Periodic Report, detailed information on the effective implementation of the recommendations made in the present Concluding Observations relating to the Maputo Protocol.
The Republic of Rwanda is now due to submit its next Periodic Report on its implementation of the Maputo Protocol.
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