Human rights body urged to adopt tech-based reporting system | The new times

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The senators said the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) should reform the means of receiving cases related to human rights violations by establishing a technological system to facilitate the process of reporting by aggrieved persons.

This follows a drastic drop in the number of cases reported to the rights body, a situation which has been attributed to the Covid-19 outbreak.

During the Senate plenary session held on Wednesday, February 16, senators reported that the number of residents who physically submit their cases to the Commission plunged during the Covid-19 prevention period due to travel restrictions.

The session was held to deliberate on the evaluation by the Committee on Social Affairs and Human Rights of the annual activity report of the committee for the financial year 2020-2021.

NCHR statistics show that the cases it has handled over the past three years have continued to trend downward. They fell to 597 in 2020-2021 from 1,328 in the reporting year ending in 2020, implying a drop of 122%. In 2018-2019, there were 1,868 recorded cases.

According to the report, the decrease in cases is due to the fact that the Commission did not deploy some of the means it used to receive citizens’ grievances in public by reaching out to communities in their areas.

“This problem was caused by the Covid-19, because after the spread of the pandemic in Rwanda (in March 2020), preventive measures were taken against it, which prohibited public gatherings. Additionally, travel restrictions between districts have prevented some citizens from accessing Commission offices to file their complaints,” the report states in part.

The Commission said it analyzed and found a violation of human rights in 480 complaints (80.4% of the 597 complaints it received in 2020-2021).

They were dominated by property rights grievances as they made up 28.5% of the total.

Grievances related to rights to justice followed with 22.7%, and rights to protection against physical and mental violence (21.7%).

Property rights cases have been dominated by land disputes and a lack of fair compensation to citizens for property expropriated to clear the way for infrastructure projects.

For justice rights grievances, the majority of them related to non-enforcement of court decisions, while those related to protection from physical and mental violence were dominated by defilement (of girls).

Meanwhile, the Commission reported that the 480 complaints have been forwarded to the responsible entities to find solutions, 415 (86.4%) have been resolved, while 65 (13.54%) have not yet been processed. .

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