Namibia: Promotion Mission, 2009


The mission was undertaken by Mrs. Pansy Tlakula, the Commissioner responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Republic of Namibia. She was accompanied by Mrs. Aminata Jawara-Manga, Legal Officer at the Secretariat of the African Commission.

The terms of reference of the mission included:

  • To promote the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the activities of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
  • To engage the Government of the Republic of Namibia on the measures it has or is taking to implement its international human rights obligations in general and its obligations under the African Charter in particular;
  • To exchange views with the government of the Republic of Namibia on the challenges it may be facing in fulfilling its international and regional human rights obligations and the extent to which the African Commission can assist;
  • To exchange views with other human rights stakeholders in the Republic of Namibia on ways and means of promoting and protecting human rights in the country;
  • To encourage closer collaboration between the African Commission and the State on the one hand, and between the African Commission and civil society organisations on the other; and
  • To encourage the government of the Republic of Namibia to participate regularly in the activities of the African Commission including attending sessions of the Commission.


  1. To speed up the enactment of the Child Protection Bill which is meant to protect the rights of children in the Republic of Namibia;
  2. To domesticate the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa and to ratify the Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
  3. Enactment of legislation that addresses gender based violence;
  4. To enhance its health sectors to reduce the prevalence of diseases such as Malaria, TB, Cholera and HIV/AIDS in some parts of the country and to take measures to decrease the child mortality rate;
  5. To ensure pre-primary school education is free as provided for in the Constitution and make adequate provisions for books, classrooms, properly trained teachers and adequate funds for learning and teaching;
  6. To expedite the “Caprivi” high treason trial and to investigate the allegation that the accused persons in this trial have been subjected to torture;
  7. To provide adequate human rights training for magistrates and police officers;
  8. To provide legal sanctions for the violation of the electoral code of conduct and ensure equitable coverage of all political parties by the State media in the run up to the 2009 elections;
  9. To transform the NBC from a State broadcaster to a public service broadcaster;
  10. To improve the situation of indigenous people in the country, in particular their socio-economic conditions, including poverty and ensure that they are adequately represented in various structures of governance;
  11. To facilitate amendments to the Communications Bill to protect privacy rights and the Child Protection Bill to include children in armed conflict, to ensure they are in line with human rights standards;
  12. To extend the powers of the Magistrates Commission to enable it to dismiss Magistrates when appropriate;
  13. To provide for Access to Information provision in the Constitution of the country and to enact an Access to Information legislation;
  14. To implement the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act to ensure that the minimum wage provision is applied by all employers;
  15. To establish a body that regulates and monitors equitable coverage of all political parties contesting an election and enact a law that regulates the use of State resources for campaign purposes;
  16. To improve the conditions and overcrowding in prisons, particularly in the northern part of the country; by reducing minimum sentences to community service and to proceed with the enactment of the law for one Parole Board;
  17. To renovate and repair Swakopmund prison which was a hundred (100) years old;
  18. To provide adequate uniforms and accommodation for prison officials;
  19. To provide adequate human and financial resources for the Office of the Ombudsman and ensure its independence;
  20. To implement the recommendations of the mission that was conducted by the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Places of Detention in Africa in 2001;
  21. To implement the recommendations of the mission of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa that the African Commission conducted in 2005;
  22. To submit its periodic reports to the African Commission in terms of Article 62 of the African Charter, since 2000;
  23. To establish mechanisms for the implementation of the concluding observations and recommendations made in the periodic and mission reports of the African Commission and other treaty bodies and establish an effective process to coordinate the State report writing process.
  24. To involve civil society organisations in the report writing process of its Periodic Reports to the African Commission;

The African Commission urges Non-Governmental Organisations with Observer Status to attend the Sessions of the African Commission.