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UN Human Rights in Rwanda


The Human Rights Adviser’s Office was established in 2008 within the UN Country Team in Rwanda. The Senior Human Rights Adviser works with the UN Country Team (UNCT) to integrate human rights into their programmes and activities; provides technical advice to national institutions; supports the UNCT and national partners in their engagement with regional and international human rights mechanisms, and conducts human rights capacity-building for a range of governmental and non-governmental actors.

Type of engagement
Human Rights Adviser
Year established
Field offices
Number of staff
Annual budget needs
US$ 752,000


  • OHCHR prepared a handbook on Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) for use by UN agencies and UN Rwanda's implementing partners. This handbook has become the reference point on human rights engagement by the UN in Rwanda on human rights. The handbook has been adapted by a number of UN Offices around the region.
  • OHCHR Rwanda has trained over 400 lower court judges and court clerks on the applicability of international human rights in domestic courts.
  • OHCHR Rwanda trained commissioners and staff members of the National Commission for Human Rights on Business and Human Rights.
  • OHCHR Rwanda trained members of Rwanda Civil Society Coalition for the UPR.
  • Office carried out an additional training workshop on the Role of Civil Society in Monitoring State Implementation of UPR Recommendations.
  • Trained 80 members of the Human Rights Center, a youth group trying to create a cadre of human rights professionals in Rwanda.
  • Trained staff members of Gender Monitoring Office on International Human Rights Protection Mechanisms, Mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender and HRBA.
  • UN Rwanda helped organized a High-level Symposium funded by the European Union to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UDHR (December 2018). It also financed and made presentations at the High-Level Conference marking the 70th anniversary of the UDHR at the Rwanda Parliament (December 2018).
  • Financed the National Commission for Human Rights to carry out a series of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and human rights treaties, including (i) lectures at universities (ii) football match between two leading Rwandan teams (iii) production of a documentary on human rights focusing on rights and mechanisms and (iv) a high-level symposium on human rights mechanisms at the Rwandan Parliament.
  • Hosted key events e.g. the UN Diplomatic Reception marking the 70th anniversary of UDHR, attended by 300 guests and addressed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mr. Johnston Busingye, the RC and the Chairperson of National Commission for Human Rights. Also attended by the Mayor of Kigali, during which over 300 newly-printed UDHR booklets were distributed to educate all about this important instrument and the mechanisms that followed its adoption 70 years ago.
  • Organized, funded and presented at a training for UNDP on Strengthening Civil Society Organization (CSOs) for Responsive and Accountable Governance in Rwanda (December 2018).
  • Provided capacity on the role of the media in monitoring the implementation of UPR recommendations during the training workshop organized for editors by Pax-Press.
  • Provided support for the creation of the National Protection Mechanism under the Convention Against Torture. The mechanism will be based within the National Human Rights Commission.
  • Provided support to the Government in preparation for its review under the third cycle of the UPR scheduled for January 2021.

Partners and Donors

Partners: UN Agencies, International and regional organizations, Ministry of Justice, National Human Rights Commission, Civil Society Organisations.

Donors: Canada, EU.

UN Human Rights Focus Areas

Thematic pillars
  • Mechanisms: Increasing implementation of the international human rights mechanisms outcomes
  • Development: Integrating human rights in sustainable development
  • Accountability: Strengthening rule of law and accountability for human rights violations
Spotlight populations
  • Young people

Last reviewed: November 2020