Namibia (Cycle 2)

For a summary of Namibia’s review at the first cycle please click here.

24th UPR session
Date of review: 18 January 2016
Date of report adoption: 16 April 2016
Document number: A/HRC/32/4

SUMMARY

SOGIESC issues during Namibia’s 2nd UPR review
Civil society submissions: ✓ (2 submissions)
National report: ✘
UN information: ✓
Working group discussions: ✓
Recommendations: ✓ (2 accepted, 5 noted)

I. SOGIESC issues/recommendations identified by NGOs
Constitutional and legislative framework 

12. JS2 stated that the grounds for non-discrimination as stipulated in The Constitution of the Republic of Namibia (Constitution) remained restrictive and did not include sexual orientation or disability. It recommended extending the grounds for discrimination to include sexual orientation and disability.

Right to privacy, marriage and family life

37. JS2 recalled that during the 2011 Review, recommendations to abolish those laws which prohibited contextual same sex relations between adults had not been supported by the Government of Namibia. Joint Submission 1 (JS1) recommended the repealing of all punitive and discriminatory laws that criminalize sexual activity between consenting adults of the same sex.

Rights to health

41. JS2 stated that the National Health Act provided everyone with the entitlement to health care. However, access to health remained a concern, particularly for minorities, such as persons living with HIV, persons with disabilities, persons from the LGBTI community and sex workers. Those groups have reported experiencing stigmatization and receiving poor services from health care professionals. For many, the negative attitudes of healthcare professionals served as a disincentive for accessing health care. JS2 recommended that the Government of Namibia take measures to eliminate those negative attitudes, as well as discriminatory practices, including through formal human rights training and sensitization of health workers and other public officials.

II. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues from the national report
No references.

III. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues by UN agencies
Constitutional and legislative framework

13. The Human Rights Committee requested Namibia to provide information as to whether it intended to abolish the “anti-sodomy” law, to reintroduce the prohibition of discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or to include the protection of persons living in same-sex relationships in the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.

IV. References to SOGIESC issues during the Working Group review
40. One of the seven themes of the National Human Rights Action Plan was the right not to be discriminated against. The specific objectives under that theme included enhancing affirmation of the rights of people with disabilities, indigenous people, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons; having information on the extent to which human rights of people with disabilities, indigenous people, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons were infringed; intensifying education and raising awareness; and implementing the legal and regulatory reform that would give effect to the non-discriminatory provisions in various international and regional instruments. New legislation would be adopted to prohibit discrimination.

41. The delegation stated that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons persons were not victimized or persecuted for practising their preferred sexual orientation. Article 13 of the Constitution protected the right to privacy. No person was requested to disclose his or her preferred sexual orientation in any official government form or document and no person could be refused access to public or private services on the basis of their sexual preference. The laws did not make provision for marriage between adults of the same sex.

50. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland […] encouraged the repeal of laws that made same-sex relationships illegal.

100. Iceland noted with concern the criminalization of sexual activity between consenting adults of the same sex.

V. Conclusions and/or recommendations
Namibia accepted the following recommendations:

137.73 Adopt the necessary measures aiming at eliminating the normative provisions which criminalize and discriminate against LGBTI persons (Argentina);

137.81 Strengthen existing mechanisms within its institutional infrastructure to eradicate discriminatory, cultural or based on customary laws, practices to the detriment of women, children, minorities and LGBT groups (Honduras).

Namibia noted the following recommendations:

137.69 Establish legislative measures to decriminalize sexual relations among adults of the same sex (Spain);

137.70 Repeal provisions criminalizing sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex, to respect the principles of equality and nondiscrimination among all people (France);

137.71 Bring its legislation into conformity with its international human rights obligations by repealing laws that criminalize sexual activity between consenting adults of the same sex (Iceland);

137.72 Bring its law in conformity with its international human rights obligations by repealing all laws which result in, or are likely to result in the discrimination, prosecution and punishment of people solely for their sexual orientation or gender identity (Netherlands);

137.73 Adopt the necessary measures aiming at eliminating the normative provisions which criminalize and discriminate against LGBTI persons (Argentina).

VI. Further information
You will find all documents relating to Namibia’s second review at UPR-Info and OHCHR’s websites.