During the genocide, lower-level perpetratorsincluding Interahamwe, soldiers, and otherswere directly responsible for most acts of sexual violence. The smaller group of leaders of the genocide often exercised command responsibility in the perpetration of these offenses and directly incited rape. In addition to being acts of genocide under the Genocide Convention, such offenses violated other international treaties, notably the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. While some of the high-level perpetrators have come before the ICTR, the national justice system is responsible for the prosecution of the majority of offenders. Therefore, most Rwandan victims of genocide sexual violence who seek accountability must rely on national justice mechanisms. The Rwandan government is obliged to uphold international standards in this respect. Rwanda is additionally obligated to implement the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on behalf of its population. Of particular importance to rape survivors of the genocide and their families is the right to the highest obtainable standard of health.
International human rights law requires states to adopt effective measures for the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of sexual violence; to ensure its citizens the highest attainable standard of health; and to provide reparations to victims of serious human rights violations. Rwanda has ratified international and regional treaties containing the above protections.214 The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), to which Rwanda is a party, obliges states parties to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women, whether such discrimination is perpetrated by state laws or institutions, or by state or private actors.215 Specifically, international human rights law requires states to provide an effective remedy for human rights abuses216 and renders states responsible for their failure to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and punish recurrent violations by private actors.217
The CEDAW Committee218 has affirmed that violence against women constitutes a form of discrimination under CEDAW and identified key steps that states parties should take to combat the practice:
In its Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the U.N. General Assembly similarly calls upon states to take decisive action against gender-based violence.220
Beyond its status as sex-based discrimination under international human rights law, sexual violence infringes upon sexual rights and the right to bodily integrity. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantees the right to bodily integrity through its protections for liberty and security of person.221 The Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights222 (ESCR Committee) has recognized the right of a woman to make decisions with respect to her sexuality under the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).223 Similar protections appear in such documents as the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action 1 and the Beijing Platform of Action 2.224
International legal protections against sexual violence also apply to persons under eighteen. States party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) must protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse and ensure that victims of such acts receive legal and psycho-social redress.225 The ICCPR grants every child the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor.226 Under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, states must take preventive and remedial measures against child abuse and torture, particularly sexual abuse.227
International human rights law obliges states to provide reparations to victims of serious human rights violations. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for a right to remedy for violations of rights protected by the constitution or by law.228 The ICCPR requires states to provide an effective remedy for violations of rights and freedoms and to enforce such remedies.229 The U.N. Human Rights Committee, which authoritatively interprets and monitors adherence to the ICCPR, has affirmed the state obligation to provide reparations under the ICCPR:
Article 2, paragraph 3, requires that States Parties make reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated. Without [such reparation]. . . the obligation to provide an effective remedy, which is central to the efficacy of article 2, paragraph 3, is not discharged. . . . The Committee notes that, where appropriate, reparation can involve restitution, rehabilitation and measures of satisfaction, such as public apologies, public memorials, guarantees of non-repetition and changes in relevant laws and practices, as well as bringing to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations.230
The draft Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Basic Principles and Guidelines) reaffirms and elaborates on these international legal obligations.231 Endorsing this draft document, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has noted that a state must grant or facilitate reparation in accordance with its duty to respect and ensure human rights.232 The Basic Principles and Guidelines enumerate the main forms of reparation: (a) restitution, meaning the restoration of circumstances that existed prior to the violation; (b) compensation for resulting material losses, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering; (c) rehabilitation, meaning legal, medical, psychological, and other assistance to the victim; and (d) redress and measures to prevent future violations, through such means as truth-seeking, public acknowledgment, investigation and prosecution of responsible individuals, apology, commemorations and memorials dedicated to the victims, and revision of the historical record.233 The current government of Rwanda, although not responsible for the genocide, must nonetheless fulfill the human rights law obligations of the predecessor regime, including providing an effective remedy and reparations to victims of past violations.234
In the case of the Rwandan genocide, the issue of reparations relates to both criminal accountability for murder, sexual violence, and other crimes, and the material needs of the victims, including health care for rape victims. Compensation for victims of human rights abuse, such as mass rape, is an important component of legal redress and may contribute to improving the health and standard of living of the victims. Since 1996, the Tribunals of First Instance and military courts have ordered persons convicted of genocide or related crimes to pay damages to the victims, but, due mainly to the insolvency of the defendants, none of these awards has been executed.235
Since early 2001, government officials have endorsed versions of a draft law on reparations and made assurances of its imminent adoption, but have not taken any further action since.236 Articles 32 and 90 of the 1996 Genocide Law and the 2001 Gacaca Law, respectively, affirmatively state that a third law will be adopted to create and govern a reparations fund for genocide victims.237 Both laws include other provisions that presuppose the existence of such a fund.238 Article 96 of the 2004 Gacaca Law states simply that [o]ther forms of compensation the victims receive shall be determined by a particular law.239
The August 2002 version of the draft reparations law outlines a comprehensive reparations policy. Notably, it would grant financial compensation to genocide victims, with particular attention to health care, educational expenses, treatment for trauma, and the legal and social problems of the most needy persons; truth-seeking; proper burial of the relatives of the victims; and the preservation of the memory of the victims through memorials and programs.240 Proposed sources of funding for the reparations fund include: a proportion of the national budget; awards of damages to unidentified victims in the course of genocide trials; revenue from detainees community work; public taxation; and voluntary contributions by foreign states, charity organizations, and private persons or organizations.241
 Rwanda has ratified or acceded to the following instruments: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), G.A. Res. 34/180, U.N. Doc. A/34/46, entered into force September 3, 1981; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, entered into force March 23, 1976; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), G.A. res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (no. 16) at 49, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 993 U.N.T.S. 3, entered into force January 3, 1976; the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), G.A. Res. 44/25, annex, 44 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 167, U.N. Doc. A/44/49 (1989), entered into force February 23, 1991; the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (African Charter), adopted June 26, 1981, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982), entered into force October 21, 1986; African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9 (1990), entered into force Nov. 29, 1999. Rwanda has signed but not ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.
 CEDAW, art. 2. The ICESCR (arts. 2, 3); ICCPR (arts. 2(1), 3, 26) CRC (art. 2(1)); and the African Charter (art. 18(3)) also guarantee equality and nondiscrimination on the basis of sex.
 CEDAW, art. 2(c), and ICCPR, art. 2(3).
 In the 1988 Velásquez Rodriguez case, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights held that a state must take reasonable steps to prevent human rights violations and to use the means at its disposal to carry out a serious investigation of violations committed within its jurisdiction, to identify those responsible, to impose the appropriate punishment and to ensure the victim adequate compensation. Velásquez Rodriguez case, Judgment of July 29, 1988, Inter-American Court of Human Rights (series C), no. 4, paras. 174.
 The Committee on the Elimination of Violence against Women (CEDAW Committee) authoritatively interprets and monitors state compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
 CEDAW Committee, General Recommendation 19, Violence against Women (Eleventh session, 1992), U.N. Doc. A/47/38, para. 24 (t).
 United Nations General Assembly, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, A/RES/48/104, December 20, 1993 (issued on February 23, 1994).
 ICCPR, art. 9. The CEDAW Committees General Recommendation 19 on gender-based violence invokes the right to liberty and security of person. CEDAW Committee, General Recommendation 19, para. 7.
 The Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights authoritatively interprets and monitors state compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR Committee), General Comment 14, The right to the highest attainable standard of health, U.N. Doc. E/C.12/2000/4 (2000), para. 8.
 United Nations, Programme of Action of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (New York: United Nations Publications, 1994), A/CONF.171/13, October 18, 1994; United Nations, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (New York: United Nations Publications, 1995), U.N. Doc. A/CONF.177/20, October 17, 1995, para. 96.
 CRC, art. 19.
 ICCPR, art. 24(1).
 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, arts. 16, 27.
 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, General Assembly Resolution 217A (III), December 10, 1948, art. 8.
 ICCPR, arts. 2(3), 9(5).
 U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 31 on Article 2 of the Covenant: The Nature of the General Legal Obligation Imposed on States Parties to the Covenant, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/74/CRP.4/Rev.6 (2004), para. 16. Likewise, the ICESCR General Comment on the Right to Highest Obtainable Standard of Health provides similar language concerning remedies and reparations:
Any person or group victim of a violation of the right to health should have access to effective judicial or other appropriate remedies at both national and international levels All victims of such violations should be entitled to adequate reparation, which may take the form of restitution, compensation, satisfaction or guarantees of non-repetition.
ESCR Committee, General Comment 14, paras. 29-30.
 M. Cherif Bassiouni, Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law [Basic Principles and Guidelines], (Fifty-sixth Session), U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2000/62, January 18, 2000, annex, preamble. Excerpts of the draft appear in Appendix I of this report.
 See U.N. Commission on Human Rights, The Right to Restitution, Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Res. 2002/44, (51st meeting), April 23, 2002; U.N. Commission on Human Rights, The Right to Restitution, Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Res. 2003/34, (57th meeting), April 23, 2003.
 Basic Principles and Guidelines, paras. 21-25.
 The Human Rights Committee, which authoritatively interprets the ICCPR, has affirmed the continuity of legal obligations when there is a change of government:
The rights enshrined in the Covenant belong to the people living in the territory of the State party. The Human Rights Committee has consistently taken the view, as evidenced by its long-standing practice, that once the people are accorded the protection of the rights under the Covenant, such protection devolves with territory and continues to belong to them, notwithstanding change in government of the State party, including dismemberment in more than one State or State succession or any subsequent action of the State party designed to divest them of the rights guaranteed by the Covenant.
U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 26: Continuity of Legal Obligations, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.8/Rev.1 (1997), para. 4.
 Penal Reform International, Research on the Gacaca: Report V (September 2003), p. 15; Human Rights Watch telephone interview with NGO representative, Kigali, June 10, 2004.
 See Jean de Dieu Mucyo, minister of justice (presently attorney general), Des juridictions gacaca et de la réparation des dommages, [Gacaca Courts and Compensation for Damages], Le Verdict, N°17, August 2000, p. 10; Dr. Vincent Biruta, president, National Assembly, Discours douverture du Séminaire sur lindemnisation des victimes du génocide par son Excellence le Dr. Vincent Biruta, Président de lAssemblée Nationale, [Opening Statement of Conference on Compensation of Genocide Victims by His Excellency Dr. Vincent Biruta, President of the National Assembly], Séminaire sur la réparation pour les victimes du génocide et des crimes contre lhumanité commis au Rwanda entre le 1er octobre 1990 et le 31 décembre 1994 [Conference on Reparations for Victims of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity in Rwanda from 1 October 1990 to 31 December 1994], (Kigali: June 7-9, 2000), Annex I.
 Genocide Law, art. 32; 2001 Gacaca Law, arts. 90, 91.
 Article 32 of the Genocide Law provides:
Damages awarded to victims who have not yet been identified shall be deposited in a Victims Compensation Fund, whose creation and operations shall be determined by a separate law.
Prior to the adoption of the law creating the Fund, damages awarded shall be deposited in account at the National Bank of Rwanda opened for this purpose by the Minister responsible for Social Affairs and the fund shall be used only after the adoption of the law.
 2004 Gacaca Law, art. 96.
 Projet de loi N° . . . du . .. portant création, organisation et fonctionnement du fonds de réparation en faveur des rescapés du génocide ou des crimes contre lhumanité commis entre le 1er octobre 1990 et le 31 décembre 1994 [Draft Law on the Establishment, Organization, and Operation of the Reparations Fund to Benefit Survivors of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity Committed from 1 October 1990 to 31 December 1994], 2002, art. 2 (copy on file at Human Rights Watch).
 Draft reparations law, art. 14.