The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Rwanda

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #rwanda #tolerance #UK

Rwanda
Republic of Rwanda

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalKigali
Land Area 24 670km21
LocationAfrica
Population11.3m (2011)2
Life Expectancy64.75yrs (2017)3
GNI$1 617 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesRW, RWA, 6465
Internet Domain.rw6
CurrencyFranc (RWF)7
Telephone+2508

Rwanda is very poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world, and it has cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Rwanda does worse than average in opposing gender inequality9, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms10, commentary from Human Rights Watch11, LGBT equality12 and in its Global Peace Index rating13. And finally, it falls into the bottom 20 in eliminating modern slavery14 and in supporting press freedom15. After many years of state "intimidation and interference", human rights and civil organisations in Rwanda are unable to operate and unable to document human rights abuses16. Likewise, political opponents to President Paul Kagame are intimidated and presented with enough barriers to make them unable to operate or campaign16. The police have been arresting and executing people even for minor crimes, and holding many people in unofficial detention centres where some prisoners are tortured, leading to human-rights aware countries such as the UK to deny extradition of wanted people to Rwanda.16.


1. Politics and Freedom

#burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #Rwanda #slavery

[In 2017] President Paul Kagame overwhelmingly won a third term in August with a reported 98.8 percent of the vote, after a 2015 referendum allowed him to run for a seven-year term and two additional five-year terms thereafter. Before and after the August election, the Rwandan government continued to limit the ability of civil society groups, the media, international human rights organizations, and political opponents to function freely and independently or to criticize the government´s policies and practices. [...] Government authorities took no chances and arrested, forcibly disappeared, or threatened political opponents in the weeks following the August vote. [...]

State security forces in the Western Province summarily killed at least 37 suspected petty offenders between April 2016 and March 2017, in what appeared to be part of a broader strategy to spread fear, enforce order, and deter any resistance to government orders or policies. Rwandan authorities continued to arrest and detain people in unofficial military detention centers, where scores of detainees have been tortured in recent years.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)16

Corruption (2012-2016)17
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score17
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
47S. Korea54.6
48Latvia54.0
49Mauritius54.0
50Rwanda52.6
51Hungary52.4
52Georgia52.4
53Czechia51.8
54Malaysia50.0
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)13
Pos.Lower is better13
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
115Niger2.24
116Turkmenistan2.24
117Bahrain2.25
118Rwanda2.25
119Kenya2.25
120Algeria2.26
121Eritrea2.26
122Venezuela2.28
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)11
Pos.Higher is better
Score11
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
89Mali-5
90Israel-5
91UAE-6
92Rwanda-6
93Uzbekistan-6
94Iraq-6
95Bangladesh-6
96Bosnia & Herzegovina-6
World Avg-1.9
q=123.

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)18
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties18
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
54UK19
55Venezuela19
56Lesotho19
57Rwanda19
58Finland19
59Netherlands19
60Nicaragua19
61Canada19
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)10
Pos.Lower is better
Rank10
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
83Tajikistan83
84Nepal84
85Barbados85
86Rwanda85
87India87
88Burkina Faso88
89Kenya88
90Bahrain88
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)15
Pos.Lower is better15
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
157Egypt4866
158Pakistan5131
159Kazakhstan5508
160Rwanda5546
161Sri Lanka5659
162Saudi Arabia5688
163Uzbekistan6039
164Bahrain6275
World Avg3249
q=178.

In the build-up to the 2017 election in which President Paul Kagame won 98.8% of the vote, free speech, political debate and freedom of expression were all severely limited and political opponents were unable to function16.

While some private radio stations occasionally broadcast programs on politically sensitive issues, such as proposed changes to the penal code that would criminalize defamation, official government views dominated the domestic media and almost all election coverage. Government actors also intimidated international journalists.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)16

Slavery (2018)14
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims14
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
149Brunei1.09
150Myanmar (Burma)1.10
151Turkmenistan1.12
152Rwanda1.16
153Chad1.20
154Sudan1.20
155Mongolia1.23
156Congo, DR1.37
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory19. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends20. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life21. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves22.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery23. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity24. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.25. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi14, Eritrea14, Indonesia26) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery27.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #Rwanda #women

Gender Inequality (2015)9
Pos.Lower is better9
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
81Belize0.38
82Mauritius0.38
83Lebanon0.38
84Rwanda0.38
85El Salvador0.38
86Peru0.39
87Sri Lanka0.39
88Ecuador0.39
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote28
Pos.Lower is better
Year28
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
126Cyprus1960
127Gambia1960
128El Salvador1961
129Rwanda1961
130Mauritania1961
131Burundi1961
132Malawi1961
133Paraguay1961
World Avg1930
q=189.

Rwanda has made some steps towards ending gender inequality but much more needs to be done.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #Rwanda #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)12
Pos.Higher is better
Score12
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
111Bahamas10
112Kazakhstan8
113N. Korea8
114Rwanda7
115Congo, (Brazzaville)5
116Madagascar5
117Chad5
118Indonesia1
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence29. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws30. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries29. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Rwanda Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Rwanda

Social & Moral
Development Index
31
Pos.Higher is better
Points31
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
144Nauru45.4
145Bangladesh45.3
146San Marino45.1
147Rwanda45.0
148N. Korea45.0
149Malawi45.0
150Comoros44.8
151Venezuela44.7
152Liberia44.7
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/rwanda_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Rwanda (Republic of Rwanda)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #Rwanda #sexuality #slavery #tolerance #UK #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  10. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  11. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  12. Sources:^^
  13. ^^
  14. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  15. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  16. Human Rights Watch (2018). p453-459.^^
  17. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^
  18. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^
  19. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  20. McCall (1979). p180.^
  21. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  22. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  24. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  26. Klein (2004) .^
  27. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  28. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  29. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  30. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  31. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

©2019 Vexen Crabtree all rights reserved.
This site uses the HTF Disclaimer (as linked here)