The Republic of Rwanda is a member of the United Nations and the African Union. It has ratified many UN Human Rights Conventions (compare list on the right) and thus has made binding international commitments to adhere to the standards laid down in these universal human rights documents.
Rwanda is a French-, English-, and Kinyarwanda-speaking country in East-Central Africa. It is a landlocked, small country with an area of 26,338 square km. On a global scale, its population density is high. The capital of the country, which became independent on 1 July 1962 from Belgium, is Kigali. Rwanda is a member of the regional economic communities EAC, COMESA and ECCAS.
With a Human Development Index of 0.46 the Rwanda ranks 167th of 182 countries ranked in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 9.7 million inhabitants at birth is 50 years, population growth is 2.8 percent per year. GNI is 410 US-$ per capita. External debt is 14.9 percent of gross national income. Primary school enrolment is 93.6 percent.
In as far as Rwanda has ratified the Optional Protocols for UN Human Rights Conventions or has accepted the Competence of the corresponding UN Treaty Bodies (compare list on the right), the inhabitants of Rwanda and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Rwanda may turn to the UN Human Rights Committee through procedure 1503, to the Special Rapporteurs for violations of specific human rights or to ECOSOC for women's rights violations.
Since Rwanda is a member state of UNESCO, its citizens may use the UNESCO procedure for human rights violations in UNESCO's fields of mandate.
Employers' or workers' and certain other organizations (not individuals) of Rwanda may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Rwanda has ratified.
Since Rwanda is an AU member, its citizens and NGOs may file complaints to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
They may also file complaints according to the EU guidelines (on Human Rights Defenders, Death Penalty and Torture) to Embassies of EU Member States and the Delegations of the European Commission.
In cases of human rights violations by multinational enterprises, they may also invoke the National Contact Point in an OECD member state.
Rwanda has not yet joined the International Criminal Court.