Rwanda has published its reproductive health law. The LAW N° 21/05/2016 OF 20/05/2016 RELATING TO HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH has been published in the Official Gazette No 23 of 06/06/2016. (Click here to download the PDF copy of this Official Gazette).
This law is promulgated by the Rwandan parliament, in pursuant to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.
This law has defined family planning as a way for people to attain their desired number of children and to avoid unwanted pregnancies, taking into account the welfare of the child, mother and family.
According to the official Gazette, the key components of human reproductive health are; 1° safe delivery for the mother and the new-born; 2° care of the new-born; 3° family planning; 4° prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS; 5° prevention and treatment of other infections that are harmful to human reproductive health; 6° prevention and treatment of infertility; 7° prevention of gender-based violence and care for victims thereof; and 8° raising awareness with the aim of attitudinal change.
Among other articles, article 7 is about Right to decide; Subject to provisions of other laws, every person having attained the majority age has the right to decide for oneself in relation to human reproductive health issues and Article 8 is about Right of access to education and medical services. Every person has the right of access to education and medical services related to human reproductive health.
An HIV/AIDS infected person has the right to services and necessary medical care consonant with his/her disease conditions and taking into account the national financial capability. The Government, public institutions and other institutions in charge of human reproductive health have the obligation to provide necessary medicines and health services close to any person in need thereof for him/her to have good reproductive health.
Public servants, the staff of public institutions and other institutions providing services related to human reproductive health are required to provide good customer care and give to clients fast and high quality service without any discrimination.
Dr. Joe Thomas
Partners in Population and Development (PPD)