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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The process of human rights protection in Namibia
Author:Horn, NicoISNI
Periodical:Journal of Namibian Studies
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:human rights
Bill of Rights
Abstract:The high value assigned to human rights and liberal values in the Namibian Constitution is the result of a negotiated settlement. At the time of Namibian independence the idea of national human rights commissions to guard over and protect fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals in constitutional democracies was gaining momentum all over the world. When Namibia launched its initial report as a signatory to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights at the Banjul sitting of the African Commission, a commissioner from South Africa raised the issue of an independent national human rights commission in Namibia. However Namibia was reluctant to follow its southern neighbour's example since the Namibian nation explicitly opted for a nonconfrontational closing on the past. What has been lacking since independence is a place where human rights violations can be addressed as they are happening. The most significant development was the creation of an advisory committee on human rights in October 2006. While this is a good initiative which undoubtedly helps to bring human rights protection closer to the people, it lacks the structures that will allow meaningful interaction between civil society and the government. The advisory committee of the Ombudsman is a good start, but more action is needed to make it a workable committee in terms of the Paris Principles. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]