Rwanda: Final baseline study report
This is a report conducted by African Initiative for Mankind Progress Organization (AIMPO), Women’s Organization for Promoting Unity (WOPU) and Minority Rights Group International (MRG) with financial support of the European Union (EU) as part of a project titled Strengthening the Capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and Media Houses to Challenge Discrimination against Historically Marginalized People (HMP) and Promote their Human Rights in Rwanda.
The assessment was carried out on the status of the inclusion and involvement of HMP in various socio-economic and political programmes and the promotion of their human rights. AIMPO and WOPU identified the participants for the assessment and arranged access to them for the consultant. The assessment examines the existing socio-economic and political programmes, awareness levels of HMP on their rights and the legal redress when violated. The assessment seeks to determine the rights that HMP consider important and how they are involved in or benefit from the socio-political programmes. Finally, the study looks at the channels of redress followed by HMP when they face human rights violations.
The assessment was conducted in Kigali City and rural areas of Nyagatare, Gatsibo and Gicumbi districts in Eastern Province, and Burera, Musanze and Nyabihu districts in Northern Province where AIMPO and WOPU operate. A guiding questionnaire was administered to 235 HMP who participated in 12 focus group discussions. The focus group discussions were aimed at generating in-depth information on issues related to human rights and the involvement of HMP in socio-political programmes to complement the data gathered quantitatively. The discussions allowed for further deliberations in an interactive setting.
Some of the major findings of the study are:
- The majority of survey participants benefited from the development programmes.
- There is some understanding of the concepts of human rights among the assessment participants. However, this knowledge remains basic.
- These groups are still facing challenges related to poverty, lack of interest in schooling, limit access to socio-economic programmes, to mention a few. They are also landless.
- The majority of HMP fail to report cases of human rights violations because they do not believe that proper action will be taken.
- Women in this group face double marginalization and have little recourse to access education, economic opportunities or justice.
- There is low level of awareness of the channels of redress when individuals’ rights are violated.
The assessment findings are analysed in Chapters III, including an assessment of to what degree HMP know about human rights, and an analysis of their own experiences of involvement in socio-economic programmes.
The final recommendations addressing the findings are provided in Chapter IV of the assessment report. The recommendations include community legal education; training of local leaders; policy work; and access to justice.