Home NewsNational EU Increases Funding Into Rwanda’s Justice Sector Support To €19.5million

EU Increases Funding Into Rwanda’s Justice Sector Support To €19.5million

by Daniel Sabiiti
12:40 am

The Ministry of Justice and the European Union (EU) delegation to Rwanda have launched a new extended justice project with increased funding aimed empowering Rwanda’s justice and reconciliation efforts as a milestone towards sustainable development.

The new programme follows the signing on July 26, 2023 of a Financing Agreement for a total amount of €19.5 million, between the Government of Rwanda and the European Union.

The four-year justice project called the Justice and Accountability Programme (JAP) was launched this January 29, 2024 by the Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Ambassador Belén Calvo Uyarra, the EU delegation representative to Rwanda.

The project, to be implemented in three components at a tune of €19.5million, is part of the €260 million EU support package for Rwanda that is essential for achieving the goals within Rwanda’s Justice, Reconciliation, Law and Order Sector (JRLOS) Strategic Plan 2018-2024, focusing on improving justice delivery, inclusivity and human rights.

Dr. Ugirashebuja said the EU has been one of the key partners in the justice sector in addition to other countries in Europe supporting Rwanda.

“This program has been key to the development of these sectors specifically in the access to justice. “This is a beginning of a new phase that requires a lot of work lying ahead of us,” Ugirashebuja aid.

The Minister stated that the project will have an impact on the citizenry and policy implementation and see some changes in areas where the policies have been implemented. Let us role our sleeves and get to work.

Over the next four years, the JAP programme will be implemented under three (3) components:

Under the first component, the programme will improve the professionalism and skills of the Justice main actors, namely the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary, the National Prosecution Authority (NPPA), Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), the Rwanda National Police (RNP) and the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR).

The main objective is to improve the delivery of timely justice aiming at the reduction of the backlog of cases, modernizing the justice system, and improving access to quality justice. By streamlining legal aid support, the programme will work towards universal and affordable justice for all, with a focus on inclusivity for vulnerable groups as well as respect for human rights.

The second component will concentrate on Reconciliation, Rehabilitation, and Unity, offering support to the Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) and civil society. Technical, vocational, education, and training (TVET) programs will empower inmates and former genocide perpetrators with essential skills, reducing recidivism upon their reintegration into society.

Ambassador Belén Calvo Uyarra said that the EU will be very keen working with stakeholders to serve justice and emphasised the objective of improving the quality of justice as the main reason for the additional funding.

“We want to support the rehabilitation of inmates already serving sentences in prison. We want to rehabilitate 2,800 inmates through vocational training- TVET before they get out of prison and support the reintegration into the community. That for us will be a great part of the support,” Calvo Uyarra said.

Through this grant, civil society organisations (CSOs) will engage in socio-psychological healing and reconciliation processes at the community level to enhance resilience and unity across the country.

Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP) Civil Society Chairman, Dr. Joseph Ryarasa Nkurunziza welcomed the project saying that it will amplify the CSOs voice as some are directly involved in justice.

“In the process, if they (justice CSOs) come across any issues, any injustices; they will immediately come to the government institution involved. Secondly they will carry out outreach programs and in doing so will contribute towards making sure citizens are aware of their rights,” Nkurunziza said.

The third component will focus on amplifying the voice and accountability of civil society. By empowering CSOs to work closely with citizens, the programme aims to tackle issues of accountability effectively.

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