Project ARDHO UNDP 2016-2017








I.Project related to the legal assistance of 250 prisoners and gender equality for pregnant women and women living with children in 3 Rwandan prisons.

Executive Summary

The final report of the project, funded by UNDP about the “The legal assistance of 250 prisoners and gender equality for pregnant women and women living with children in 3 Rwandan prisons”, covers activities accomplished from July 2016 to February 2017. The current report summarizes the achievement of the project. Further follow up of the collected cases will still be undertaken at different partner institutions. At the same time, the field agents will continue providing legal aid to prisoners and detainees and work on the appropriation of the project activities by the beneficiaries. In this vein, the current report contains a special point describing specific activities and lesson learnt during the 8 month project in the field in terms of legal representation and follow up of the urgent cases already and previously identified. (see page 24-25)

The strategy put in place by ARDHO during the all period of the project funded by UNDP was WOR (Work Oriented on Results) and we put the detainees and prisoners in the middle of our activities because they are the reason of the existence of the current project. In the same vein, ARDHO organized a half day meeting to share and to disseminate the obtained results in the domain of access to justice for vulnerable. We appreciate the flexibility of our funder UNDP who authorized to use the funds from another line budget and also ARDHO completed the remaining amount to make realizable the half day restitution results meeting.

The main interveners in criminal justice chain participated in the meeting: Police, Prosecution, Courts, RCS and also other partners like District representatives, local communities leaders, liberated prisoners for testimony, RGB, UNDP etc.

The invites of honour representing from the left to the right their respective institutions, ARDHO, General Prosecution, UNDP and RCS

Working in three different and new prisons was a bit challenging in spite of ARDHO’s experience of working in the Rwandan prisons and especially with the vulnerable detainees and prisoners: continue reminding partners about the new strategies put in place for helping the prisons’ authorities to better understand the project, its philosophy and objectives, work with new prisons’ authorities…

The results obtained during the entire project were not only progressive in the sense of they will refer to the first period results but they seem fabulous and need to be encouraged. They were diverse and covered the following domains:

  • legal aid;
  • legal representation in different courts;
  • family reconciliation thanks to the presence of the local authorities;
  • advocacy to get intermediate results (obtain the missing documents in the prisoners or detainees’ files) in order to advance their case to the next step;
  • advocacy to close some cases at different institutions: Prisons, TGI, TB, High Court, Supreme Court, Prosecution…;
  • capacity building in terms of sharing ideas on criminal justice chain collaboration and sharing best practices and helping the detainees and prisoners to understand their cases if they are not in the criteria of being selected for receiving the legal representation;
  • Great occasions were offered to prisoners and detainees who have finished their process of claiming to understand that ARDHO can’t go over the law.

Another event we would like to focus in is the fact of an independent team without informing ARDHO, went to the prison of Ngoma to assess the job accomplished by ARDHO. And the evaluation team was composed by the staff of RGB, CNPDH, the impressions we received from the prison show that the evaluators appreciated the work accomplished by ARDHO in terms of results obtained and technical support given to the prisoners and detainees.

The three prisons working with ARDHO in the UNDP project were represented at the high level (Directors and Legal Advisors). From left to right: Nsinda prison’s legal advisor, Muhanga prison’s legal advisor, Ngoma prison’s Director and Muhanga prison’s Director, Behind them a member of the community invited to participate in the meeting, besides the man, we have two ladies, former prisoners from Ngoma. They come for their testimonies.

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