Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.


Introduction


During the last ten-eight years, international law has become more applicable to serve the rights of minorities in developing countries. But despite good intentions, the socio-economic and cultural status of indigenous people of the Batwa and the minority class of Rwandan albino’s has worsened

The importance of the rights of minorities is proven by the reports of both governments, NGO’s and studies of academic research.

Social imbalance in the field of human development is a crucial issue to secure equal socio-economic integration in the system of globalization for developing countries.

Consequently, we ask the following question:

  • Why is the assistance provided by donors, for the projects of social promotion of indigenous peoples of the Batwa and minority class of albino’s not improving their fate?
  • Is the organizational structure of organizations for the promotion of minorities and disadvantaged social classes reliable?


In reality, people are subjected to a live of dependency to the programmes and socio-economic activities of such organizations. In this respect, the fundamental rights of indigenous minorities are violated. Ignorance to the development of sub-communities result in little support for them to exit the spiral of poverty, underlying causes are:

  • Internal social conflicts of leadership and nepotism
  • Forced assimilation favoring small group of individuals
  • Inability of organizations to deal with diversities within local societies


Batwa and the albino people need to adopt new measures to deal with issues involving the integration and the promotion of specific groups of social classes of the disadvantaged people. They search for new ways to put an end to the issues in leadership and social conflicts.


Current issues


1. Loss of land and housing

The land is an important factor for the vast majority of Rwandans. More than 90 percent of the population depends on farming for its livelihood. The Batwa have consistently been pushed off of their land, which has left most Batwa homeless. The latest challenge comes from the anti-thatch campaign. While officially, provisions were to be made to give interim housing for those who lose their homes in the transition, the reality has been very different. Thousands of Batwa have often been removed from their homes, sometimes forcefully, and have been left homeless with promises of new housing left wanting. While many have been affected in this process, the largely landless Batwa have been disproportionately affected.

Recently the hopes of ancestral lands being returned to the Batwa have been sparked again since international and regional bodies, such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, have asked the Rwandan government to return land to the Batwa which was taken away from them without compensation in order to create national parks.

 

2. Government refusal to recognize the Batwa as a distinct ethnic group

In the name of a non-tribal Rwanda and the maintenance of societal harmony, there is an outright refusal of the government to recognize the Batwa as a distinct ethnic and cultural group. The 2003 constitution outlaws discrimination on ethnic grounds. This unfortunately has the effect of establishing a legal blindfold on the government that prevents proper recognition of the Batwa people and the discrimination they face as an ethnic group.

The Rwandan government’s refusal to recognize the Batwa as an ethnic group makes it difficult and nearly impossible for Batwa to organise. It also makes Batwa-specific targeted action extremely difficult, and it affects the way that information on the Batwa is covered by the media within Rwanda.

 

3. Government and societal discrimination

However, while the Batwa can be legally erased, society is far less malleable. So while showing open slander towards Batutsi or Bahutu will result in legal repercussions, it is still accepted for people to show open discrimination towards Batwa, and the Batwa face severe societal discrimination which affects their ability to integrate and contribute to society.

- Over 91 % of the Batwa have had no formal education.

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