Human Rights' Baseline Study Report targets minority groups' rig

03 Oct 2013 02:00
WINDHOEK, 03 OCT (NAMPA) – The recently-launched Human Rights Baseline Study Report recommended that the Office of the Ombudsman considers a programme of scoping existing laws and policies to identify those that lead to the discrimination of minority groups and vulnerable persons.
This was one of the 149 Human Rights Baseline Study Report’s recommendations as launched here on Wednesday by Justice Minister Utoni Nujoma.
The program of scoping existing laws is geared towards targetting laws and policies that discriminate against sexual minorities, women, indigenous people, elderly persons, children as well as people living with disabilities.
The report also recommended the legalization of abortion in Namibia.
It was furthermore recommended that there was a need to establish a Children’s Rights’ division in the Office of the Ombudsman, which would be responsible for monitoring children’s rights’ violations and address children’s complaints in a child-sensitive manner.
The strengthening of the capacity of Women and Child Protection Units of the Namibian Police in all regions, and establishing as a matter of urgency some effective and child-friendly procedures and mechanisms to receive, monitor and investigate complaints, was also recommended.
The report also contains recommendations on the amendment of the Namibian Constitution to explicitly recognize indigenous people, and to provide a quota system for parliamentary representation as per the recommendations of the African Commission in this regard.
The repeal of laws used to criminalize individuals on the grounds of homosexuality for engaging in consensual same-sex conduct, and to ensure that other criminal laws are not used to harass or detain people based on their sexuality; the enactment of comprehensive anti-discriminatory laws on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, were other recommendations to be worked on.
The Human Rights Baseline Study Report consists of an A4 book with 249 pages, and a summary booklet with 36 pages.
It was sponsored by Australian Aid, the European Union, the Human Rights’ Documentation Centre and the University of Namibia.