Rwanda - OPCAT Situation

OPCAT Status

OPCAT ratification date
UNCAT ratification Date
NPM Type

National Human Rights Commission

In May 2015, the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) and the APT held a seminar to familiarise national stakeholders with the OPCAT and its preventive system and discuss ratification and implementation in Rwanda, including the structure for the future NPM. Rwanda deposited the instrument of ratification of the OPCAT with the United Nations in New York the following month, in June 2015.  Other workshops were organised in November 2015 and March 2016 to take the discussions forward. In May 2016, the APT facilitated a study visit to Mauritius for representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the NCHR, to learn from the experience of the Mauritius NPM.

In September 2016, a series of consultations took place in the country, facilitated by the APT and the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the NCHR and the Human Rights Implementation Centre of University of Bristol. The meeting brought together representatives from the government, state institutions, the judiciary, law enforcement agencies and correctional services, and civil society organisations. It was agreed that the NPM will be a unit within the NCHR. This meeting adopted a roadmap for NPM designation, including on the changes to the legal basis of the commission and reforms to its structure, governance, functioning and methods of work. The Ministry of Justice put in place a working group of representatives from MINIJUST (lead institution), the NCHR, the Rwanda Law Reform Commission, the Parliament, the National Public Prosecution Authority and Legal Aid Forum. This law was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force on the 17th of September 2018.

The SPT visited Rwanda from 15–21 October 2017. The purpose of the visit was to advise national authorities on the establishment of the NPM and to visit a number of places of deprivation of liberty. The SPT suspended the visit on 20 October 2017, stating that it the authorities had imposed serious obstructions during the visit

The SPT member who is the SPT Focal Point for Rwanda is available here.