Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of all UN Treaty Bodies and their follow-up procedures. This does not include the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which are available here: http://www.crin.org/resources/treaties/index.asp
Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.
- UN Human Rights Committee
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
- UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
- UN Committee against Torture
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
Issued by the Committee: 17-18 March 2016
Published by the Committee: 24 March 2016
The Committee welcomes the following legislative and institutional measures taken by the State party The adoption on14 December 2011 of Law N°54/2011 relating to the rights and protection of the child; The adoption in October 2014 of a Legal Aid Policy and a Justice for Children Policy and the placement in 2014 of Access to Justice Officers in all the districts of the State party.
Violence against women and children:
The Committee is concerned about the lack of statistical data provided that could be used to assess the prevalence of sexual and physical violence against women and children.
Make the necessary legislative amendments in order to apply the same penalties to all types of rape and repeal the provision that criminalizes the victim’s refusal to testify; Ensure that cases of domestic and sexual violence are thoroughly investigated, that the perpetrators are prosecuted, and if convicted, punished with appropriate sanctions, and that victims are adequately compensated; Guarantee the issuance of protection orders in order to ensure the safety of victims; Step up its efforts to guarantee the availability of a sufficient number of Isange one stop centres and support services in all parts of the country.
Committee remains concerned at the burdensome requirements for seeking permission to undergo abortion, namely, a court order recognising rape, forced marriage or incest and the permission of two doctors in the case of jeopardy to the health of the pregnant women or the foetus. The Committee is concerned that pregnant women are therefore led to seek clandestine abortion services that put their lives and health at risk. In this regard, the Committee regrets the lack of data provided with regard to the number of legal abortions actually authorized. It also regrets the lack of information regarding the content of the draft Bill on reproductive health, which reportedly would further limit legal abortion only to cases where the pregnancy may seriously threaten the mother’s life, as certified by three doctors.
The State party should ensure access for women and adolescent girls to reproductive health services throughout the country, particularly in the rural areas, and increase education and awareness-raising programmes on the importance of using contraceptives and on sexual and reproductive rights and choices.
Cooperation with armed groups:
The Committee takes note of the State party’s position (Annex 109, S/2014/42) contesting the findings of the Group of Experts on the DRC, which established that the disbanded armed group “Mouvement du 23 mars (M23)”, responsible for various human rights abuses in 2013 in the DRC, received support from soldiers of the Rwanda army and from individuals who recruited men and children in the State party for M23. The Committee is concerned, however, at the lack of information on measures taken to open an official investigation on the findings of the Group of Experts and on their supplementary responses to the State party’s position (Annex 110, S/2014/42)
The State party should undertake prompt, impartial and effective investigations into the reported cooperation with M23 of members of the Rwandan army and other persons within its jurisdiction with a view to bring those responsible to justice or extradite them to the DRC. It should also ensure that children who have been recruited in the State party to be used in hostilities for M23 receive adequate assistance and reintegration.
Criminalisation and detention of persons on the grounds of vagrancy:
The committee recommends that the State party take the necessary legislative and other measures to abolish the crimes of vagrancy and begging and to put an end to the involuntary detention of homeless people, beggars and other members of vulnerable groups in transit or rehabilitation centres. The State party should take the necessary measures to provide alternatives to the institutionalization of children in street situation, including their placement in family-based settings. (paras. 27)
The State party should take the necessary legislative and other measures to abolish the crimes of vagrancy and begging and to put an end to the involuntary detention of homeless people, beggars and other members of vulnerable groups in transit or rehabilitation centres. The State party should take the necessary measures to provide alternatives to the institutionalization of children in street situation, including their placement in family-based settings.
The Committee is concerned about the proportion of children that are not registered, particularly among immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. It is also concerned at reports indicating that the penalties and fees for late registration could have a deterrent effect on registration (para. 43).
The State party should take the necessary measures to identify children lacking birth registration, particularly among immigrants, asylum seekers and in refugee camps, and ensure their retroactive birth registration and the waiver of court fees for late registration. It should continue to mount awareness-raising campaigns concerning birth registration.
Last Reported: 18 and 19 March 2009
Concluding Observations Adopted: 30 March 2009
Education: The Committee notes that the number of girls entering secondary and higher education is less than the number of boys, in particular because of the persistence of traditional attitudes towards the role of women in society (arts. 3 and 26 of the Covenant).
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Redouble its efforts to guarantee girls and boys equal access to all forms and levels of education and take steps to raise the awareness of families in that regard. (Paragraph 10)
Children involved in armed conflict: The Committee remains concerned at the large number of persons, including women and children, reported to have been killed from 1994 onwards in the course of operations by the Rwandan Patriotic Army, and at the limited number of cases reported to have resulted in prosecution and punishment by the Rwandan courts (art. 6 of the Covenant).
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Take steps to ensure that such acts are investigated by an independent authority and that those responsible are prosecuted and duly punished. (Paragraph 13)
Conditions in detention: The Committee is concerned at reports of appalling prison conditions, particularly as regards hygiene, access to health care and food. It is also concerned about the fact that there appears to be no guarantee that detained children will be held separately from adults, and accused from convicted persons (art. 10 of the Covenant).
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Adopt effective measures against overcrowding in detention centres and ensure conditions of detention that respect the dignity of prisoners, in accordance with article 10 of the Covenant.
(b) Put in place a system to segregate accused persons from convicted persons and minors from other prisoners.
(c) Take steps to ensure that all the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners are respected. (Paragraph 15)
Vulnerable children: The Committee is concerned about reports that the Kigali authorities often arrest persons belonging to vulnerable groups, such as street children, beggars and sex workers, on the grounds of vagrancy. Such persons are reported to be held in detention without any charges being brought against them and in very poor material conditions (art. 9 of the Covenant).
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Take steps to ensure that no one is detained arbitrarily, in particular for reasons essentially of poverty, and to abolish the offence of vagrancy from the criminal legislation. (Paragraph 16)
Last Reported: 8 March 2011
Concluding Observations Adopted: 11 March 2011
Education: The Committee is concerned at reports it has received of the persistence of negative stereotypes where the Batwa are concerned. It is also concerned at the weak impact of the measures taken by the State party to help the Batwa, who continue to suffer from poverty and discrimination in obtaining access to education. Their educational level remains the lowest and their dropout rate the highest as compared with the rest of the population
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Combat stereotypes and ensure that the Batwa are not victims of discrimination, and that they benefit equally with other population groups from plans and programmes implemented by the State party
(b) Facilitate and guarantee Batwa children's access to education without discrimination, in particular by taking steps to cut the high dropout rate, and continue to promote awareness of the importance of education among adults of the Batwa community (Paragraph 16)
Concluding observations published: 3 March 2017
Last reported: 13 July 2015
Positive developments: The Committee welcomes the progress achieved since the consideration in 2009 of the State party’s sixth periodic report (CEDAW/C/RWA/CO/6) in undertaking legislative reforms, in particular the adoption of: Law No. 27/2016 of 08/07/2016 governing matrimonial regimes, donations and successions, and which explicitly prohibits discrimination between male and female children in succession of their parents; Organic Law No. 01/2012/OL of 02 May 2012, prohibiting the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; Law No. 54/2011 of 14/12/2011 related to the Rights and Protection of the Child, which provides for the same responsibilities of child protection by both parents (para 4).
Stereotypes: The Committee welcomes the awareness-raising measures taken by the State party to address discriminatory stereotypes about women’s and men’s roles and responsibilities in the family and in society. However, the Committee is concerned that these measures insufficiently tackle the prevalence of deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes on the higher status given to men and boys and the resulting subordination of women and girls, which undermines their social status, autonomy, educational opportunities and professional careers, as well as constitutes an underlying cause of gender-based violence against women. In this regard, the Committee also notes with concern that data indicates that girls from age 15 girls perform almost six hours more domestic work on a daily basis than boys of the same age and that there is societal acceptance of such unequal sharing of domestic burdens; The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its awareness-raising measures and adopt a comprehensive strategy to eliminate patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes that discriminate against women in order to effectively promote gender equality, and eliminate patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes concerning the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society (paras 20, 21).
Gender-based violence against women: The Committee appreciates the measures taken by the State party to eliminate gender-based violence against women and provide assistance to victims, including the adoption of a National Policy against Gender Based Violence and a corresponding Strategic Plan, the establishment of the Isange One Stop Centres; the establishment of anti-gender based violence clubs in schools, involving both girls and boys; and the establishment of gender desks within the Rwanda National Police and in the Rwanda Defense Force. The Committee notes with concern, however, that the number of women victims of gender-based violence, including different forms of sexual violence, is particularly high in the State party. The Committee recommends that the State party accelerate the increase of the number of Isange One Stop Centres, as planned, particularly in rural areas, in order to provide women and girls victims of gender-based violence and their children with access to long term shelter and relocation possibilities, as well as financial support and access to income generating opportunities; Take measures to encourage victims to report gender-based violence against women, including by launching awareness-raising campaigns targeted at the public and women and girls in particular, to dismantle the stigma conveyed to victims (paras 22, 23).
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution: The Committee appreciates the efforts made by the State party to prosecute perpetrators of trafficking in persons, in particular women and girls, the implementation of awareness-raising campaigns on the risks of trafficking, and the assistance provided to victims. It also notes that a draft law on trafficking is under elaboration. It is, however, concerned about Insufficient prevention efforts, as demonstrated by the reported increase of trafficking in adolescent girls for purposes of sexual slavery under the pretext of offering them opportunities for studying or working abroad. The Committee recommends that the State party accelerate the adoption of the draft law on human trafficking, ensure that it is fully in line with the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Protocol), and ensure that it is accompanied by a comprehensive national action plan, which is adequately resourced (paras 26, 27).
Education: The Committee notes with appreciation that the number of girls enrolled in primary and secondary schools has increased in the State party. It also welcomes the sensitization campaigns for boys on menstruation. It notes with concern, however, that Girls’ rate of transition to the next level of education remains lower than that of boys which may be attributed to the high number of early pregnancies, insufficient sanitation facilities for girls, and discriminatory stereotyped attitudes on the education of women and girls; Notwithstanding the introduction of lower pass marks for girls, boys continue to perform better at school, partly due to girls’ unequal burden of household tasks which impact on their time for study; Girls who become pregnant are suspended from school for the duration of one year; Women’s and girls’ access to traditionally male-dominated professions and teritiary education remains low; Many girls are reportedly victims of sexual violence at school perpetrated by teachers, school administration employees, other pupils and community members; Girls in vulnerable situations, in particular girls with disabilities, Batwa girls and refugee girls experience societal, infrastructural and economic barriers in accessing education (para 32).
The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen awareness campaigns to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education, and that it tackle discriminatory stereotypes that require girls to perform significantly more housework than boys; Ensure that every school is provided with adequate sanitation facilities for girls to prevent them from missing or dropping out from school due to menstruation; Repeal the mandatory suspension of pregnant girls from school and develop a comprehensive policy for the reintegration of pregnant girls and child mothers into schools, including access to support services such as counselling in parenting skills, child care facilities and appropriate sexual and reproductive health services; Allocate sufficient human, technical and financial resources to ensure the provision of inclusive education for girls and boys with disabilities, the provision of financial support for girls who cannot afford school materials, and ensure that all girls have access to education, including in remote areas and refugee camps, such as by establishing mobile schools (para 33).
Employment: The Committee recommends that the State party promote women‘s integration into the labour force and adopt a gender-sensitive and adequately resourced employment policy, which includes temporary special measures to promote women’s employment‚ in particular in the formal sector and in traditionally male dominated fields of employment and intensify women’s technical and vocational training in those fields. It also recommends that the State party: Promote the equal sharing of family and domestic responsibilities between women and men, including by introducing compulsory paternity or shared paternal leave, following childbirth (para 35).
Female domestic workers: The Committee welcomes the measures taken to reduce child labour, including domestic work. It is concerned, however, that many girls in poverty continue to be exploited as domestic workers, where they are frequently subjected to precarious conditions, labour exploitation, sexual abuse, violence and harassement. The Committee recommends that the State party vigorously prosecute and punish exploitative situations of child labour. It also recommends that the State party strengthen the capacity of labour inspectors to monitor workplaces, including in private households, and publish information on such inspections and sanctions imposed in order to discourage labour exploitation, especially exploitatation of child labour. It recommends that the State party design and implement awareness-raising campaigns targeted at domestic workers and families in poverty informing them about their rights and the dangers associated with domestic work (paras 36, 37).
Health: The Committee is also concerned that access to modern forms of contraception remains insufficient, as they are provided by a limited number of health facilities; The Committee recommends that the State party provide education on sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as adequate access to affordable, modern methods of contraception, including emergency contraception, to all women and girls (paras38, 39).
Women with disabilities: The Committee appreciates the measures taken by the State party to provide support to women with disabilities. It notes with concern, however, that Law N° 01/2007 of 20/01/2007 relating to the protection of disabled persons does not provide for specific measures for women and girls with disabilities. It is also concerned about: The lack of information about access by women and girls with disabilities to sexual and reproductive health services and rights. The Committee recommends that the State party adopt legal provisions to eliminate intersecting forms of discrimination against women and girls with disabilities. It further recommends that the State party adopt special measures, such as by increasing the number of reserved seats in Parliament, to increase the representation of women with disabilities in political institutions at all levels, as well as ensure their full access to information about sexual and reproductive health services and rights and how to access these (paras 46, 47).
Refugee women and girls: The Committee commends the State party’s acceptance of a high number of refugees. It is nevertheless concerned about the high risk of trafficking for refugee women and girls; Limited access to assistance for refugee women and girls who are victims of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, due inter alia to the remoteness of refugee camps from the Isange One Stop Centres. The Committee raises the State party’s attention to general recommendation No. 32 (2014) on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women. It recommends that the State party: Increase the security situation both within and around refugee camps, including by deploying an adequate number of police officers, including women, ensuring adequate illumination within and around camps, establishing Isange One Stop Centres in the vicinity of refugee camps, and providing women and girls with accessible shelter and food for them and their children in order to avoid so-called “survival sex” (paras 48, 49).
Last Reported: 4 February 2009
Stereotypes: The Committee is concerned about the persistence of deeply rooted, traditional patriarchal stereotypes regarding the role and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in the wider community, which result in violence against women and are reflected, in particular, in women's limited educational opportunities and their disadvantaged situation in the labour market.
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Implement comprehensive measures directed to change the widely accepted attitudes and practices of women's subordination and the stereotypical roles applied to both sexes. Such measures should include awareness-raising and educational campaigns addressing women and men, girls and boys, religious and community leaders, parents, teachers and officials, in accordance with the obligations under articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention.
(b) Encourage the media to discuss and promote non-stereotypical and positive images of women, and promote the value of gender equality to society as a whole. (Paragraphs 21 and 22)
Post-genocide gender-based violence: While commending the State party for its efforts to reconstruct the country and eliminate the grave consequences of the 1994 genocide, by fostering an environment of peace, unity and reconciliation, the Committee is concerned that women's participation and involvement in the post-conflict reconstruction and social-economic development may not be fully realised owing to deeply entrenched stereotypes and gender-based violence, as well as other forms of discrimination against women. Aware that many women and girls were victims of sexual violence, including rape and sexual torture, during the genocide, the Committee also expresses concern that equal access to justice and appropriate protection and support may not be guaranteed for all women and girl victims within the framework of the comprehensive process of prosecution of perpetrators that is ongoing at international and national levels.
The Committee calls upon the State party to:
(a) Take all necessary measures, as emphasised in United Nations Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008), and in conformity with the Convention and the Beijing Platform for Action, in order to ensure women's equal participation and full involvement in the reconstruction and socio-economic development of the country.
(b) Continue to ensure appropriate protection, support and equal access to justice for the women victims of sexual violence during the genocide. (Paragraphs 23 and 24)
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution: While welcoming the State party's ratification of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the draft of a bill dealing with these issues, the Committee is concerned at the lack of awareness of the scope of this phenomenon and the absence of effective measures to address all its dimensions, including its root causes and protection for victims of trafficking. It regrets the lack of information and statistical data provided by the State party on trafficking in women and girls and on the extent of prostitution. The Committee is further concerned at the criminalisation of women and girls involved in prostitution, while the demand is not being addressed.
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Speedily enact the Bill on suppressing, prosecuting and punishing trafficking in human beings, and introduce effective prevention measures, timely prosecution and punishment of traffickers and the provisions of protection and support to victims.
(b) Provide information and training on the new bill to the judiciary, lawyers and law enforcement officials, including border police, as well as public officials, social workers and community development officers.
(c) Adopt comprehensive measures to address trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution, and ensure the allocation of sufficient human and financial resources for their effective implementation, including collection of sex-disaggregated data.
(d) Address the root causes of trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution of women and girls and take measures for the rehabilitation and social integration of women and girls who have been victims of such activity. (Paragraphs 27 and 28)
Education: While appreciating the State party's efforts in reducing female illiteracy, achieving parity in primary education, and introducing free and compulsory nine-year public school education, the Committee is concerned at the low enrollment rate of girls in secondary and higher education and at the high dropout rate of girls. The Committee is further concerned that traditional attitudes and early pregnancies are among the causes of girls dropping out of education and that pregnant girls who leave school as a result of the measure of suspension encounter difficulties in resuming their studies. It is also concerned about the low number of female teachers, especially in secondary and higher education and in leadership positions.
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Take steps to ensure de facto equal access of girls and young women to all levels of education, overcome traditional attitudes hampering women and girls from fully enjoying their right to education, retain girls in schools and implement re-entry policies enabling young women to return to school after pregnancy.
(b) Take measures to increase the enrolment of girls at all levels, and introduce temporary special measures, in accordance with its general recommendation No. 25.
(c) Take measures to increase the number of female teachers, especially at secondary and university levels and in leadership positions. (Paragraphs 31 and 32)
Last reported: 8 May 2013
Concluding Observations issued: 10 June 2013
Stereotypes: The Committee is concerned at the persistence of deeply rooted patriarchal stereotypes regarding roles and responsibilities of men and women, despite the measures taken by the State party to raise awareness of the population and to promote gender equality. The Committee is also concerned that measures taken to promote income generating activities for women, in particular for those living in rural areas, have not been effective. The Committee is further concerned that inequality persists between men and women regarding access to high ranking positions both in the private sector and the local public administration (art.3.). Para 9.
The Committee recommends that the State party intensify the efforts to ensure the effective application of its legislation on gender equality and implementation of policy measures taken to achieve equality between men and women, including by reinforcing its awareness-raising campaigns on the elimination of negative cultural attitudes against women and girls. The Committee also recommends that the State party reinforce equal representation of women in high ranking positions in local public administration as well as in the private sector. In this regard, the Committee draws the attention of the State party to general comment No. 16 (2005) on the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights.
Family reunification: The Committee is concerned that the refugee and asylum legislation do not protect against refoulement and do not allow family reunification for dependents not under the age of 18. The Committee is also concerned that refugees and asylum seekers still face difficulties in access to social services and to fully enjoy the rights covered by the Covenant, in particular regarding access to the labour market, to durable residence status and the recognition of their diplomas. The Committee is further concerned about difficulties faced by returnees to be fully reintegrated in Rwanda, in particular regarding their access to the land and other property rights, free access to education, health care and income generating activities. Moreover, the Committee is concerned that the birth registration of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless children is not fully guaranteed in practice (art 10). Para 11.
The Committee recommends that the State party revise its refugee and asylum legislation in order to guarantee the principle of non-refoulement and to ensure family reunification of dependents of refugees without restrictions based on their age. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure the effective enjoyment of rights covered by the Covenant by refugees and implement measures aimed at reintegrating returnees, in particular regarding access to land, free access to education, health care and income generating activities. The Committee further recommends that the State party ensure the registration of all children born in its territory, in particular refugee, asylum seekers and stateless children, including by revising the Law No. 14/2008 of 4 June 2008 Law Governing the Registration of the Population and Issuance of National Identity Card to extend the registration deadline and by providing training to civil registry officials.
Child labour: The Committee is concerned at the high rate of child labour, in particular in agriculture, as domestic workers, in small companies and light manufacturing, brick-making, mining industries, despite the prohibition of child labour by the Labour Code and by the Law No. 54/2011 of 14 December 2011 on the protection of the rights of children (art. 51) and other measures taken to combat child labour (art. 10). Para 19.
The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to firmly implement its legislation which prohibits child labour, including by reinforcing inspections, investigating, prosecuting and sanctioning those responsible and providing victims with rehabilitation and assistance. The Committee also recommends that the State party conduct awareness-campaigns about its legislation against child labour, in particular in rural areas where children are employed in the agriculture sector. Moreover, the Committee recommends that the State party effectively implement its five-year National Plan on Child Labour aimed at its abolition and combating its worst forms drawn up in 2007, in order to reinforce the protection of children and requests the State party to provide information on investigations, prosecutions and sanctions imposed on those responsible for child labour.
Sexual exploitation: The Committee is concerned that trafficking of children for sexual exploitation persists in the State party (art. 10). Para 20.
The Committee recommends that the State party effectively implement its legislation against trafficking by investigating cases of trafficking, prosecuting and sanctioning those responsible and providing assistance and protection to victims.
Corporal punishment: The Committee notes that the Law No. 54/2011 of 14 December 2011 relating to the rights and the protection of children has abolished corporal punishment in all settings, but it remains concerned that the “right of correction” set out in the Civil Code may be misinterpreted and allow for corporal punishment (art. 10). Para 21.
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the Law No. 54/2011 of 14 December 2011 and the Civil Code fully abolish corporal punishment of any kind in all settings without exception.
Poverty: The Committee is concerned at the high rate of poverty in the State party despite measures taken and despite the high economic growth rate, which particularly affects women including those heading households, child-headed households, persons living in rural areas and working in agriculture. The Committee is also concerned at poverty and the inadequate living conditions of marginalized and disadvantaged persons and groups such as Batwa community, asylum seekers and refugees and domestic workers, which prevent them from effectively enjoying their economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee is further concerned at the higher level of poverty in some rural areas (art. 11). Para 22.
In line with the Committee’s statement on poverty and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/2002/22-E.12/2001/17, annex VI), the Committee recommends that the State party effectively implement and reinforce measures taken to combat poverty and reduce inequalities that exist between different regions, including by facilitating income generating activities. The Committee also recommends that the State party regularly review its plans and strategies in order to evaluate its weaknesses. It requests the State party to include in its next periodic report comparative data, disaggregated by sex, age and rural/urban populations, on the number of persons living in poverty and on progress made in combating poverty.
Child mortality: The Committee is concerned at the rate of child mortality. It is also concerned at the high rate of maternal mortality, including among adolescents, which is partially due to unsafe abortions taking place in inadequate or clandestine conditions. The Committee is also concerned at the general criminalization of, and the application of, severe punishment for recourse to abortions as well as at difficulties faced by some women in accessing family planning services, including contraceptives, in particular in rural areas (art. 12) . Para 26.
The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to reduce the high rate of child mortality and maternal mortality. The Committee also recommends that the State party extend family planning services, including contraceptives, to all women, and carry out educational programmes on sexual and reproductive health. The Committee urges the State party to revise its laws in order to reduce the scope and the severity of the punishment of abortion and to facilitate access to professional medical services with a view to eliminating the practice of unsafe abortions that place the lives of women and girls at risk.
Education: The Committee is concerned at the high rate of dropouts among children belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized families, in particular to Batwa families. The Committee is further concerned at the low salaries paid to teachers. Moreover, the Committee is concerned at the lack of information relating to human rights education in school curricula (art. 13). Para 27.
The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen measures aimed at reducing the dropout rates of children belonging to marginalized and disadvantaged families, in particular the Batwa families, in primary and secondary schools. The Committee also recommends that the State party increase the salaries of teachers and introduce human rights education in school curricula. The State party is encouraged to intensify its efforts to progressively make secondary education fully free. The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 13 (1999) on the right to education.
Last reported: 15 and 16 May 2012
Concluding Observations adopted: 26 June 2012
Violence against women and children: The Committee notes the measures taken by the State party to combat domestic violence, in particular violence against women and girls. The Committee also notes that the number of cases of rape decreased between 2006 and 2009. However, the Committee remains concerned about the persistence of this phenomenon, as indicated in the State party’s report, and notes that there were 1,570 cases of rape of children recorded by the State party in 2009. The Committee also regrets the absence of comprehensive and recent statistical data on domestic violence, as well as on investigations, prosecutions, convictions and penalties applied against perpetrators. The Committee further expresses concern about the absence of comprehensive legislation against corporal punishment of children (arts. 2, 12-14).
The State party should reinforce measures to eliminate domestic violence, in particular violence against women and girls, including by adopting a comprehensive strategy. It should facilitate the lodging of complaints by women against perpetrators, and ensure prompt, impartial and effective investigations of all allegations of sexual violence as well as prosecute suspects and punish perpetrators. The State party should continue to provide women victims with assistance, including shelters, medical aid and rehabilitation measures. Furthermore, the State party should explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings.
The State party should provide the Committee with information on the investigations of cases of domestic violence, in particular violence against women and girls, including rape and other crimes, including sexual violence, and on the outcome of trials, including information on the penalties to perpetrators, and redress and compensation offered to the victims. (Paragraph 16)
Detention of children with incarcerated mothers: While noting efforts made by the Government, the Committee is concerned about the inadequate prison conditions in the State party, in particular with regard to hygiene, access to health care and food. It is concerned about the high rate of overcrowding and that people may be held in detention after having completed their sentences. The Committee also expresses concern at reports that a high number of mothers are detained with their babies in extremely difficult conditions (arts. 2, 11 and 16).
The State party should strengthen its efforts to improve prison conditions and ensure that they are in conformity with the Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners, by:
(a) Reducing the high rate of overcrowding, in particular through the wider use of non-custodial measures as an alternative to imprisonment, in the light of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (the Tokyo Rules);
(b) Releasing detainees who have completed most of their prison sentences and for whom reintegration into society is considered appropriate by the competent authorities;
(c) Avoiding long periods of pretrial detention and ensuring that pretrial detainees receive a fair and speedy trial;
(d) Ensuring that minors are separated from adults, and that pretrial detainees are separated from convicted detainees;
(e) Ensuring that mothers detained with their babies are placed in more appropriate settings. (Paragraph 19)
Juvenile justice: The Committee is concerned that minors under 12 years of age who are in conflict with the law can be detained for a maximum period of eight months, and that such minors are not always detained separately from adults. The Committee is also concerned about reports that some minors are arrested and detained for vagrancy without any legal safeguards (arts. 2, 10 and 16).
The State party should take steps, as a matter of urgency, to avoid detaining minors in conflict with the law and, as an alternative to imprisonment, provide them with special care. The State party should also ensure that all minors are only deprived of their liberty as a last resort and for a short period of time. The State party should further ensure that minors deprived of their liberty enjoy full legal safeguards, and if convicted, that they are detained separately from adults. (Paragraph 20)
Last reported; 10 and 11 September 2012
Concluding Observations adopted: 10 October 2012
Forced labour: The Committee is concerned at reports that a certain number of children from neighbouring countries are subjected to forced labour in the State party.
The Committee recommends that the State party increase labour inspections and impose appropriate penalties on employers exploiting child migrant workers or subjecting them to forced labour and abuse, especially in the informal economy. (Paragraphs 19 and 20)
Trafficking of children: The Committee is concerned at reports that Rwandan children are being recruited and sent to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, where they are forced to perform agricultural labour or subjected to domestic slavery or prostitution, and that some children from neighbouring countries are subjected to prostitution in the State party. The Committee is also concerned at the absence of studies, analyses and disaggregated data that would allow an assessment to be made of the extent of trafficking into, in transit through and from the State party, and of any law against trafficking in persons.
The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt a law to combat trafficking in persons and protect victims of trafficking;
(b) Provide training to border guards, labour inspectors, immigration officials and other law enforcement officials to ensure the prompt identification of victims of trafficking;
(c) Establish effective mechanisms for the identification and protection of victims of human trafficking;
(d) Bring perpetrators of crimes related to trafficking to justice; and
(e) Undertake an assessment of trafficking in persons to, in transit through and from the State party and systematically compile disaggregated data in this regard. (Paragraphs 45 and 46)
Education: While noting the information provided by the State party about the availability of universal free primary and secondary education, the Committee is concerned at the lack of statistics on primary and secondary school enrolment rates for children of migrant workers and access to education for the children of migrant workers in an irregular situation.
The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure that children of migrant workers in an irregular situation have access to education on the basis of equality of treatment with nationals of the State party. The Committee also recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to include in its next periodic report data disaggregated by gender, age and nationality on the number of children of migrant workers enrolled in primary and secondary schools, including those in an irregular situation or whose parents are in an irregular situation. (Paragraphs 33 and 34)
Ratified in 2008 but not yet reported.
Not yet signed or ratified.