CHAPTER ONE- FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTSArticle 10
- The human person is sacred and inviolable.
- The State and all public administration organs have the absolute obligation to respect, protect and defend him or her.
- All Rwandans are born and remain free and equal in rights and duties.
- Discrimination of whatever kind based on, inter alia, ethnic origin, tribe, clan, colour, sex, region, social origin, religion or faith, opinion, economic status, culture, language, social status, physical or mental disability or any other form of discrimination is prohibited and punishable by law.
Every person has the right to life. No person shall be arbitrarily deprived of life.
- The crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes do not have a period of limitation.
- Revisionism, negationism and trivialisation of genocide are punishable by the law.
The State shall, within the limits of its capacity, take special measures for the welfare of the survivors of genocide who were rendered destitute by the genocide committed in Rwanda from October 1st, 1990 to December 31st, 1994, the disabled, the indigent and the elderly as well as other vulnerable groups.
- Every person has the right to physical and mental integrity.
- No person shall be subjected to torture, physical abuse or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
- No one shall be subjected to experimentation without his or her informed consent. The modalities of such consent and experiments are determined by law.
All human beings are equal before the law. They shall enjoy, without any discrimination, equal protection of the law.
- Criminal liability is personal.
- Civil liability is determined by law.
- No one shall be imprisoned on the ground of inability to fulfil obligations arising from civil or commercial laws.
- The person's liberty is guaranteed by the State.
- No one shall be subjected to prosecution, arrest, detention or punishment on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a crime under the law in force at the time it was committed.
- The right to be informed of the nature and cause of charges and the right to defence are absolute at all levels and degrees of proceedings before administrative, judicial and all other decision making organs.
Every person accused of a crime shall be presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been conclusively proved in accordance with the law in a public and fair hearing in which all the necessary guarantees for defence have been made available.
Nobody shall be denied the right to appear before a judge competent by law to hear his or her case.
- Nobody shall be punished for acts or omissions that did not constitute an offence under national or international law at the time of commission or omission.
- Neither shall any person be punished with a penalty which is heavier than the one that was applicable under the law at the time when the offence was committed.
No person shall be subjected to security measures except as provided for by law, for reasons of public order and State security.
The private life, family, home or correspondence of a person shall not be subjected to arbitrary interference; his or her honour and good reputation shall be respected.
A person’s home is inviolable. No search of or entry into a home may be carried out without the consent of the owner, except in circumstances and in accordance with procedures determined by law.
Confidentiality of correspondence and communication shall not be subject to waiver except in circumstances and in accordance with procedures determined by law.
- Every Rwandan has the right to move and to circulate freely and to settle anywhere in Rwanda.
- Every Rwandan has the right to leave and to return to the country.
- These rights shall be restricted only by the law for reasons of public order or State security, in order to deal with a public menace or to protect persons in danger.
- Every Rwandan has the right to his or her country.
- No Rwandan shall be banished from the country.
- The right to asylum is recognized under conditions determined by the law.
- The extradition of foreigners shall be permitted only so far as it is consistent with the law or international conventions to which Rwanda is a party. However, no Rwandan shall be extradited.
- Only civil monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is recognized.
- No person may be married without his or her free consent.
- Parties to a marriage have equal rights and duties upon and during the subsistence of a marriage and at the time of divorce.
- The law determines conditions, forms and effect of marriage.
- The family, which is the natural foundation of Rwandan society, is protected by the State.
- Both parents have the right and duty to bring up their children.
- The State shall put in place appropriate legislation and institutions for the protection of the family and the mother and child in particular in order to ensure that the family flourishes.
Every child is entitled to special measures of protection by his or her family, society and the State that are necessary, depending on the status of the child, under national and international law.
- Every person has a right to private property, whether personal or owned in association with others.
- Private property, whether individually or collectively owned, is inviolable.
- The right to property may not be interfered with except in public interest, in circumstances and procedures determined by law and subject to fair and prior compensation.
- Private ownership of land and other rights related to land are granted by the State.
- The law specifies the modalities of acquisition, transfer and use of land.
- The property of the State comprises of public and private property of the central Government as well as the public and private property of decentralized local government organs.
- The public property of the State is inalienable unless there has been prior transfer thereof to the private property of the State.
- Every person shall respect public property.
- Any act intended to cause sabotage, vandalism, corruption, embezzlement, squandering or any tampering with public property shall be punishable by law.
Freedom of thought, opinion, conscience, religion, worship and the public manifestation thereof is guaranteed by the State in accordance with conditions determined by law.
Propagation of ethnic, regional, racial or discrimination or any other form of division is punishable by law.
- Freedom of the press and freedom of information are recognized and guaranteed by the State.
- Freedom of speech and freedom of information shall not prejudice public order and good morals, the right of every citizen to honour, good reputation and the privacy of personal and family life. It is also guaranteed so long as it does not prejudice the protection of the youth and minors.
- The conditions for exercising such freedoms are determined by law.
- There is hereby established an independent institution known as the “High Council of the Press».
- The law shall determine its functions, organization and operation.
- Freedom of association is guaranteed and shall not require prior authorization.
- Such freedom shall be exercised under conditions determined by law.
Freedom of peaceful assembly without arms is guaranteed if it is not inconsistent with the law.
Prior authorization shall only be necessary if the law so requires and solely in the case of assembly in the open air, in a public place or on a public road, to the extent that such is necessary in the interests of public safety, public health or public order.
- Every person has the right to free choice of employment.
- Persons with the same competence and ability have a right to equal pay for equal work without discrimination.
- The right to form trade unions for the defence and the promotion of legitimate professional interests, is recognized.
- Any worker may defend his or her rights through trade union action under conditions determined by law.
- Every employer has the right to join an employers’ organization.
- Trade unions and employers’ associations have the right to enter into general or specific agreements regulating their working relations. The modalities for making these agreements are determined by law.
The right of workers' to strike is permitted and shall be exercised within the limits provided for by the law, but the exercising of this right should not interfere with the freedom to work which is guaranteed for every individual.
- Every person has the right to education.
- Freedom of learning and teaching shall be guaranteed in accordance with conditions determined by law.
- Primary education is compulsory. It is free in public schools.
- The conditions for free primary education in schools subsidised by the Government are determined by an organic law.
- The State has the duty to take special measures to facilitate the education of disabled people.
- An organic law determines the organization of Education.
All citizens have the right and duties relating to health. The State has the duty of mobilizing the population for activities aimed at promoting good health and to assist in the implementation of these activities.Article 42
Every foreigner legally residing in the Republic of Rwanda shall enjoy all rights save those reserved for nationals as determined under this Constitution and other laws.Article 43
In the exercise of rights and enjoyment of freedoms, every person shall only be subjected to the limitations set by the law in order to ensure the recognition and respect of others’ rights and freedoms, good morals, public order and social welfare which characterize a democratic society.Article 44
The judiciary as the guardian of rights and freedoms of the public ensures respect thereof in accordance with procedures determined by law.
CHAPTER TWO- THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE CITIZENArticle 45
- All citizens have the right to participate in the government of the country, whether directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with the law.
- All citizens have the right of equal access to public service in accordance with their competence and abilities.
Every citizen has the duty to relate to other persons without discrimination and to maintain relations conducive to safeguarding, promoting and reinforcing mutual respect, solidarity and tolerance.
- All citizens have the duty to participate, through work, in the development of the country; to safeguard peace, democracy, social justice and equality and to participate in the defence of the motherland.
- The law shall organize national service, whether civil or military.
- In all circumstances, every citizen, whether civilian or military, has the duty to respect the Constitution, other laws and regulations of the country.
- Every citizen has the right to defy orders received from his or her superior authority if the orders constitute a serious and manifest violation of human rights and public freedoms.
- Every citizen is entitled to a healthy and satisfying environment.
- Every person has the duty to protect, safeguard and promote the environment. The State shall protect the environment.
- The law determines the modalities for protecting, safeguarding and promoting the environment.
- Every citizen has the right to activities that promote national culture.
- There is hereby established the Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture.
- The law shall determine its functions, organization and operation.
The State has the duty to safeguard and to promote positive values based on cultural traditions and practices so long as they do not conflict with human rights, public order and good morals. The State equally has the duty to preserve the national cultural heritage as well as genocide memorials and sites.