Currently, Strive Foundation Rwanda in partnership with the local authorities at the District level British High Commission implements the UPR task and it’s designed to ensure awareness of equal treatment for every individual when their human rights situations are assessed. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in communities and address human rights violations wherever they occur. Presently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists.
The UPR assesses the state of performance on human rights ranging from civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all UN member states. Rwanda’s human rights record has been reviewed twice; the first in 2011 and the second in 2015.
Rwanda is moving steadily towards full implementation of the 50 recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council and will be ready to score highly by the next Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled for November 2020.
Still, SFR remains dedicated to its cause of ‘’ Promoting and advocacy for social justice and economic empowerment opportunities for vulnerable groups’’
Strive Foundation Rwanda, in relation to the UPR tasks; it has conducted workshops on Universal Periodic Review mechanism that took place at Rusizi and Nyamasheke Districts in the Western province of Rwanda.
The trainings aimed at providing a clear understanding of UPR recommendations among the decentralized institutions and increased capacity within local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to launch, manage and evaluate compelling advocacy campaigns on UPR implementation and raise public awareness and engagement with UPR recommendations in both Nyamasheke and Rusizi districts.
The workshops also developed various mechanism of engaging the participants to draw a roadmap at the district level as a way of following up the implementation of the national agreed recommendations given to Rwanda following the second review held in November 2015.
Different themes were discussed during these workshops, and these included;
- Introduction on Human right mechanisms and State obligations in protecting, respecting and fulfillment of Human Rights and its role to report periodically to Treaty Bodies.
- Introduction to UPR mechanism
- UPR Recommendations given to Rwanda by UN human right counsel
National Roadmap of the implementation of the recommendations issued and the role of decentralized entities.
Some of the significant changes (so far in the project) from the overall UPR project plan Implemented by Strive Foundation Rwanda included;
- Consulting various categories of people in sectors of Kagano, Bushekeri and Bushenge in Nyamasheke (Nyamasheke district) and Mururu (Tara cell) in Rusizi district.
- Holding discussions with human rights activists aimed at gathering concrete feedback in the support of UPR implementations in Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts
- Engaging civil society organisations (CSOs) rrepresentatives aimed at defining good practices based on performances and expectations from the civic education angle.
- Increasing awareness raising through local radio in both Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts
- Engaging human rights activists to discuss on the relevance of the UPR implementation
Conclusively, “The local government and authorities appreciate the contribution of Strive Foundation Rwanda in different aspects, and especially their UPR review on human rights in Rusizi and Nyamasheke Districts of the Western province of Rwanda.
- Demand by the local authorities to extend village