Namibia has ratified the following documents:
  • African (Banjul) Charter on Human and People's Rights
  • Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • International Covenant Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The following documents further define the obligations of Namibia:
    The documents listed above require Namibia to protect and promote the following rights:

    Right to development
    Right to education
    Right to equal protection of the law
    Right to freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment
    Right to highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
    Right to housing
    Right to just and favorable work conditions
    Right to liberty and security of the person
    Right to life and survival
    Right to marry and found a family
    Right to non-discrimination on grounds of age
    Right to non-discrimination on grounds of disability (i.e. HIV positive)
    Right to non-discrimination on grounds of marital status
    Right to non-discrimination on grounds of race and ethnicity
    Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sex and gender
    Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation
    Right to private and family life
    Right to receive and impart information
    Right to the benefits of scientific progress

    Constitutional Protection of Rights

    The Constitution of Namibia can be viewed at http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/wa00000_.html

    The Constitution of Namibia is an important tool for the protection and promotion of human rights.

    The Constitution enables Namibia to translate international agreements into domestic law, and obliges all branches of government to respect and ensure the rights it enunciates.

    The Constitution provides for the protection of the following rights, among others. This empowers individuals in making reproductive health decisions, and helps create the economic and social conditions conducive to good sexual and reproductive health.

    Right to dignity (art. 8)
    Right to education (art. 20)
    Right to the equal protection of the law (art. 10)
    Right to equality within marriage (art. 14)
    Right to freely consent to marriage (art. 14)
    Right to freedom of association (art. 21)
    Right to freedom of speech (art. 21)
    Right to freedom of movement within one's own country (art. 21)
    Right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 8)
    Right to liberty (art. 7)
    Right to life (art. 6)
    Right to marry and found a family (art. 14)
    Right to non-discrimination on grounds of race (art. 10)
    Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sex (art. 10)
    Right to own private property and to bequeath it to heirs (art. 16)
    Right to privacy (art. 13)
    Right to seek and obtain redress for violations of rights (art. 25)

    The Constitution includes other provisions that promote and protect rights relevant for good sexual and reproductive health.

    The Constitution commits Namibia to protect the family (art. 14(3)). It also specifically provides special protection to children (art. 15), including protection against exploitation and work that would interfere with their education or be harmful to their physical and mental health (art. 15(2)).

    The Constitution mandates Namibia to promote the welfare of its citizens through the empowerment of women, by adopting legislation ensuring equality of opportunity for women (art. 95(a)), equal pay for equal work between men and women (art. 95(a)), and providing maternity benefits to women (art. 95(a)).

    The Constitution requires Namibia to promote the welfare of its citizens. Namibia must adopt policies aiming at:

      ensuring that all citizens have "fair and reasonable access to public facilities and services" (art. 95(e))
    • ensuring that all citizens have an adequate standard of living (art. 95(f))
    • providing a social safety net to those incapacitated or unable to work (art. 95(g))
      How can this be used? Whether this provision would apply to persons living with or affected by HIV/AIDS requires additional research. For further research and information, please contact the Human Rights Working Group.

    • raising and maintaining "an acceptable level of nutrition and standard of living of the Namibian people and ? improv[ing] public health" (art. 95(j))
    Under its Constitution Namibia is also to encourage participation of citizens in the policy process (art. 95(k)).

    However, the Constitution allows restrictions to rights in certain cases.

    The Constitution admits that the right to privacy be restricted if it is necessary to protect public health (art. 13(1)).

    What do restrictions entail? By authorizing restrictions to rights, it is acknowledged that Namibia may be confronted with situations that will entail an infringement on rights. In such situations, Namibia may take measures to address a public health problem without violating its own constitution.

    Restrictions are authorized under international law if all of the following conditions are met:

    1. the restriction is provided for and carried out in accordance with the law
    2. the restriction is in the interest of a legitimate objective of general interest (e.g., the protection of public health)
    3. the restriction is strictly necessary in a democratic society to achieve the objective
    4. there are no less restrictive means available to reach the same objective
    5. the restriction is not drafted or imposed arbitrarily, i.e. in an unreasonable or otherwise discriminatory manner