- Ruusa N Ntinda
1 Population indicators
1.1 What is the total population of Namibia?
1.2 Describe the methodology used to obtain the statistical data on the prevalence of disability in Namibia and the criteria used to determine who falls within the class of persons with disabilities in Namibia?
The statistical data on disability was obtained through the national demographic inter-censor sampling methodology. The inter censor is done 5 years after the last census and 5 years before the next national census. This household-based sampling methodology was significantly limited, as it was a sample and it excluded the population that was in institutions such as schools, hospitals etc.
1.3 What is the total number and percentage of people with disabilities in Namibia?
The total population of persons with disabilities in Namibia is 108 992 persons. This makes amounts to 4.7% of the total national population.
1.4 What is the total number and percentage of women with disabilities in Namibia?
Namibia has about 54 890 women with disabilities. This amounts to 4.6%.
1.5 What is the total number and percentage of children with disabilities in Namibia?
The Namibia Inter-censal Demographic Survey 2016 Report failed to provide statistics on children with disabilities age 0-18 years old. The 2011 national census indicated that 26992 children under 18 have a disability.
1.6 What are the most prevalent forms of disability in Namibia?
Disabilities are made up of:
- Lower limb impairments made up of 28 745 persons and
- Upper limb impairments made up of 22 450 persons that fall under physical disabilities which are the most prevalent.
- Visual disabilities made up of 31 968 persons.
- Hearing disabilities made up of 17 454 persons.
- Mental disabilities Made up of 16 609 persons.
2 International obligations
2.1 What is the status of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Namibia?
Namibia signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD and its Optional Protocol on 4 December 2007.
2.2 If Namibia has signed and ratified the CRPD, when is/was its country report due? Which government department is responsible for the submission of the report? Has Namibia submitted its report? If not, what reason does the relevant government department give for the delay?
The first report was due 2009. The office of the Vice President: Disability Affairs is the government department responsible for the submission of the report. The draft report is currently with the Ministry of Justice for verification and validation. The office of the Vice President: Disability Affairs It is expected to continuously revise, initiate and formulate development policies pertaining to persons with disabilities.
2.3 If Namibia has submitted the report in 2.2 and if the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has reviewed the report, indicate if the Committee made any concluding observations and recommendations to Namibia’s report. Was there a domestic effect in Namibia on disability issues due to the reporting process?
No recommendations and observations could be made due to Namibia’s failure to submit report to date.
2.4 While reporting under various other United Nation’s instruments, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights or the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare on the Child, has Namibia also reported specifically on the rights of persons with disabilities in its most recent reports? If so, have concluding observations adopted by the treaty bodies, addressed disability? If relevant, were these observations given effect to? Was mention made of disability rights in Namibia’s UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR)? If so, what was the effect of these observations or recommendations?
a) Namibia reporting on the rights of persons with disabilities
- Namibia submitted its 6th Periodic Report on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in 2015. The report makes reference to disability with regards to the implementation of the Affirmative Action Act 29 of 1998, the employment and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
- Committee against Torture Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention pursuant to the optional reporting procedure second periodic reports of States parties due in 1999 Namibia responded on the legal safeguards protecting the rights of persons in psychiatric institutions, especially with reference to involuntary treatment, their living conditions, mechanisms exist to prevent and punish acts of torture and ill treatment in such institutions and provided information on the number of complaints related to torture and ill-treatment reported.
- Namibia in its written Replies to Questions Raised by the Committee Members on the Occasion of 116th Session of the Human Rights Committee 10 March 2016 Geneva, Switzerland discussed disability and statistical data in detail.
- Namibia’s report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women under article 18 of the Convention Fourth and fifth periodic reports of States parties due in 2009 reported on women with disabilities.
- In Namibia’s response to the List of issues in relation to the combined fourth and fifth
Periodic reports of Namibia by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Sixty-first session. The role of affirmative action on the employment of persons with disabilities was discussed.
b) Treaty body concluding observations and recommendations that address disability
- In the Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Sixth Periodic Reports of the Republic of Namibia on the Implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (2011 – 2013) 58th Ordinary Session 6, the commission commended Namibia on the provision of the rights of persons with disabilities. The Commission was however concerned that the report failed to indicate the measures and policies put in place to protect the rights of persons with disabilities and their effective implementation in the rural areas. Another issue of concern was access to mental health services in rural areas.
- In the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Concluding observations on the second report of Namibia, it was pointed out that there is still continuing discrimination against persons with disabilities. The state should therefore intensify efforts to combat discrimination against persons with disabilities.
- The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights List of issues in relation to the initial report of Namibia required the state to indicate measures it has put in place to address unemployment among vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities.
- Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Concluding observations on the initial report of Namibia raised on the issue of children with disabilities and their access to education, employment and grants for persons with disabilities. The committee further pointed out that the grounds for non-discrimination should be expanded to include disability.
- Committee on the Rights of the Child Concluding observations on the consolidated second and third periodic reports of Namibia, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-first session pointed out the need for desegregated statistical data on children with disabilities, the need to intensify measures and timely implementation of relevant polices for children with disabilities. The committee indicated that the National Disability Council and the National Policy on Disability of 1997 has not resulted in sufficient coordinated and concerted actions for children with disabilities. The state should therefore ensure that all legislation on children, including the proposed Child Care and Protection Bill, include a specific prohibition of discrimination on the ground of disability, and develop holistic and coordinated programmes across ministries on the rights of children with disabilities; accessibility to inclusive mainstream schooling. The state must also ensure that children with disabilities and their parents and/or other caregivers have access to effective remedies in cases where their rights are violated. Namibia should improve health care services for persons with disabilities and raise awareness to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities. The committee requires Namibia to review the mental health laws, especially where children with mental health disabilities is concerned, development and implementation of policies and programmes on mental health for children, including those with learning disabilities.
A number of observations and recommendations have been given effect to, for instance the Child Care and Protection Act 2015 and the Basic Education Bill specifically list disability as a ground for non-discrimination. The state is currently working together with relevant partners on desegregated statistical data on persons with disabilities. Furthermore, the Law Reform and Development Commission in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Social Services just concluded public consultations on a more human rights based, disability rights and children with mental health disability friendly Mental Health Bill.
c) Namibian UPR and disability
During the UPR Views on conclusions and/or recommendations, voluntary commitments and replies presented by the State under review, Namibia indicated that it is in the planning process of opening a mental health hospital in southern Namibia, as the current facilities are only in northern and central Namibia. In addition, a number of states made a number of recommendations on disability.
2.5 Was there any domestic effect on Namibia’s legal system after ratifying the international or regional instrument in 2.4 above?
Namibia adopted a more inclusive human rights developmental approach to disability. This is reflected in numerous different legal bills and Acts such as the Basic Education Bill, Divorce Bill. Human Trafficking Bill, Access to Information Bill, Mental Health Bill and the Child Care and Protection Act 0f 2015.
2.6 Do ratified international treaties automatically become domestic law under Namibia’s legal system? If so, are there any cases where the courts applied international treaty provisions directly?
Namibia is a monist state. International treaties become part of the domestic laws upon ratification as a whole by virtue of articles 143 and 144 of the Namibian Constitution, unless reservations are submitted. There are however no cases that have considered the CRPD directly or indirectly.
2.7 With reference to 2.4 above, has the United Nations CRPD, or any other ratified international instrument, or parts thereof, been incorporated verbatim in national legislation? Provide details.
Certain provisions of the CRPD such as Article 24 on education have been incorporated in the Current Basic Education Bill. In addition, some aspects of the Convention against Torture have been incorporated in the current torture bill.
3.1 Does the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia of 1990 (the Constitution) contain provisions that directly address disability? If so, list the provisions and explain how each provision addresses disability.
Disability is not specifically provided for in Constitutions. However, limited references can be found in Article 95 of the Constitution, which makes provisions for the promotion of the welfare of the Namibian people.
3.2 Does the Namibia Constitution contain provisions that indirectly address disability? If so, list the provisions and explain how each provision indirectly addresses disability.
The Constitution contains some provisions that indirectly address disability. These include:
- Article 23 of the Namibian Constitution provides for affirmative action in order to remedy the injustices of the past. Article 23(2) states that it is for the advancement of persons in Namibia that have been disadvantaged by past discriminatory laws or practices. While women are mentioned in article 23(2), there is no reference to disability or persons with disabilities. However in terms of section 18 of the Affirmative Action (Employment) Act 29 of 1998 disability is listed as a targeted group.
- Article 10 of the Constitution deals with equality and freedom from discrimination. Under article 10(1) all are equal before the law and in terms of article 10(2) no person may be discriminated against. This can be used to argue that people with disabilities fall under ‘all’. However this argument may be disputed on the basis that disability is not listed as a ground for non-discrimination. In addition, the grounds listed under article 10(2) are exhaustive or can be viewed as a closed list. This is due to the fact that ‘other status’ is not included.
4.1 Does Namibia have legislation that directly addresses disability? If so, list the legislation and explain how the legislation addresses disability.
- Child Care and Protection Act, No 3 of 2015: Section 2 (1) provides that one of the objects of this Act is to (j) recognise the special needs that children with disabilities or chronic illnesses may have. Section 5 (2) (d) (i) provides for the protection of children from direct and indirect discrimination. Disability is not listed as a ground for non-discrimination. Section 5(2)(f) provides that all proceedings, actions or decisions in matters concerning a child must respond to any special needs that the child may have as a result of a disability or chronic illness. Children with disabilities are specifically provided for in section 9. Section 130 (3) makes provisions for prevention and early intervention services for children with disabilities. Finally, section 154 (2) makes provision for children with special needs or disabilities. This Act is currently no operational as Regulations are not finalized.
- Electoral Act No 5 of 2014’s Schedule 2 on the Bill of Fundamental Voters’ Rights and Duties in 2.8 provides that a polling booth constructed in a manner possible for physically disabled voters to cast a vote. Section 89 provides that (1) the Commission must for the purpose of facilitating the taking of a poll in any election, establish polling stations at convenient places for (g) accessibility for people with disabilities, while section 91 provides that (1) the polling booths must (b) be accessible for people with disabilities. Under the 1992 electoral legislation provision was made for assistance of persons with disabilities. Section 82(5)(c) provides “The provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (4) and of paragraph (b) of this subsection and of subsection (8) shall apply in the case of a voter who suffers from a physical defect which, in the opinion of the presiding officer, makes the application of the said provisions impossible.” The act continues in section 84(1) that, "A presiding officer or polling officer shall not assist or instruct a voter in the manner of voting at a polling station unless (a) a voter who is incapacitated by blindness or other physical disability from voting in a manner prescribed by the other provisions of this Part, requests in person the presiding officer or polling officer, to so assist him or her in the manner directed by him or her to record his or her vote, but without interfering with the exercising of his or her franchise..." finally, the act further states in section 84,(2) that, "The presiding officer, on the request in person of any voter who is incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause from voting in the manner prescribed by the other provisions of this Part, who has not requested to have his or her vote recorded by the presiding officer in terms of subsection (1) and who is accompanied by any other person, shall, if he or she is satisfied that such person is any family relative or friend of such voter and has reached the age of 18 years, permit such voter to vote with the assistance of the person accompanying him or her, and upon such permission being granted anything which is by the provisions of this Part required to be done or by the said voter in connection with the recording of his or her vote may be done to or with the assistance of the person so accompanying him or her."
- Employment Services Act 8 Of 2011 provide for the establishment of the National Employment Service; to impose reporting and other obligations on certain employers and institutions; to provide for the licensure and regulation of private employment agencies; and to deal with matters incidental thereto. Section 3 (1) provides that the Employment Services Board may have (f) one member representing the interests of persons living with disabilities.
- National Youth Council Act 3 of 2009 section 3 one of its powers and functions (i) to pursue its advocacy role with regard to the rights and opportunities for the youth with PWD’s. the act further provides in section 14 on the Constitution of Board, that the National Federation of Persons with Disabilities is allowed to nominate a person to the Board
- Labour Act No 15 of 2007 section 5(1)(e) defines a person with disability. Section 5(2) (e) prohibits direct or indirect discrimination based on any degree of physical or mental disability in employment. Section 5 (4) (a) provides that it is not discriminatory to take any affirmative action measure to ensure that racially disadvantaged persons, women or persons with disabilities (i) enjoy employment opportunities at all levels of employment that are at least equal to those enjoyed by other employees of the same employer; and (ii) are equitably represented in the workforce of an employer.
- Maintenance Act 9 of 2003 In terms of section 16 (4) some of the factors to be considered where the beneficiary has disabilities are
(a) the extent of the disability;
(b) the life expectancy of the beneficiary;
(c) the period that the beneficiary would in all likelihood require maintenance; and
(d) the costs of medical and other care incurred by the beneficiary as a result of the disability.
- The National Disability Council Act 26 of 2004: section 4(1) the Council has the power and function to make representations on behalf of any person with a disability before any organ of state, or provide or procure legal assistance for any persons with disabilities, if the matter in question relates to the rights of, or the integration of persons with disabilities in society. It also has the duty to recommend to Cabinet the taking of necessary steps in order to facilitate compliance with the National Policy on Disability and the amendment of any law.
- Namibia Sport Act 12 of 2003: Section 4 (1) (d) provides that the Minister may appoint a person to the Commission who is nominated by the national umbrella sports body for people with disabilities.
- Communal Land Reform Act 5 of 2002 In terms of the Regulations 23C and 23G persons with disabilities are given a higher score when applying for and being allocated leaseholds. Regulation 23C(4) lists the factors considered during the evaluation with the point scoring system for infrastructure development support, that members of recognised marginalised groups such as people with disabilities, score two points. Regulation 23G(3) requires Traditional Authorities to use factors and associated point scoring system when evaluating and recommending applications for members of recognised marginalised groups such with disabilities.
- Education Act 16 of 2001: Schedule 7 16 (6) on the assessments for National Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) courses and examinations, that the final external examinations (which consists of oral, aural, practical and written forms of assessments) for the NSSC Group and Subject Awards may be adapted with the approval of the National Curriculum for Basic Education Board to make them accessible to candidates with impairments or disabilities. Such adaptations must be reflected on the NSSC Awards as endorsements. Section 3 (4) (j) further provides that the national organization for persons with disabilities can nominate persons to service on the National Advisory Council on Education. Section 4 (1) and (5) together provide that the Regional Education Forum may have two persons representing the national organization for persons with disabilities. finally, section 20 (2) (c) provides that School Board Of Special Schools Providing Special Education may have a representative of organizations of persons with disabilities.
- The Affirmative Action (Employment) Act 29 of 1998 is aimed at addressing the injustices of the past. In order to place the previous disadvantaged groups on a par with other groups in society for the full realisation of their rights. According to Section 17(1) and (2) (b) provides that an affirmative action measure includes, but is not limited to making reasonable efforts in the workplace to accommodate, physically or otherwise, persons with disabilities. Section 18(c) of this Act lists persons with disabilities as one of the designated groups that requires affirmative action. Furthermore, the Affirmative Action (Employment) Act sets out in section 19 the preferential treatment of such designated groups. It provides that in filling positions of employment a relevant employer shall give preferential treatment to suitably qualified persons of designated groups.
- Namibian Qualifications Authority Act 29 of 1996 Regulations requires for the Accreditation of Persons, Institutions and Organizations, Learning facilities, resources and contexts, all buildings and facilities must be capable of accommodating the needs of persons with disabilities.
- Mental Health Act No 18 of 1973 provides for mental health in Namibia. The law is currently under review. Public consultations on the Metal Health Bill were concluded in November 2018.
- The Criminal Procedure Act No 51 of 1977: sections 77; 78 and 79 deals with the mental capacity of the accused to understand court proceedings and also the ability to make a proper defence.
- Abortion and Sterilization Act 2 of 1975: Section 3(1) makes provision for abortion when there is a risk that the child will be born with a physical or ‘mental defect; seriously handicapped’ or when the mother is unable to handle parental responsibilities as a result of a mental disability.
4.2 Does your country have legislation that indirectly addresses disability? If so, list the main legislation and explain how the legislation relates to disability.
- Motor Vehicle Accident Fund Act, 2007 provides for assistance and benefits to persons injured in motor vehicle accidents. These include injuries that lead to disabilities. The act further defines “medical treatment” to include any treatment or program, scheme, course, or process intended to restore physical, mental, emotional, behavioral health and function, infirmity of mind and body and redress all forms of impairment and includes hospitalization.
- Section 2(1) of the Racial Discrimination Prohibition Amendment Act 26 of 1991 provides that No person shall deny any other person access to or the use of any public amenity or any facility in a public amenity; permit any other person such access or use on less favorable terms or conditions than those upon which he or she would otherwise permit such access or use; or require any other person to leave or cease to use any such amenity or facility. This Act indirectly protects PWDs because the concepts of ‘no person’ and ‘any other person’ implicitly include PWDs.
5. Decisions of courts and tribunals
5.1 Have the courts (or tribunals) in Namibia ever decided on an issue(s) relating to disability? If so, list the cases and provide a summary for each of the cases indicating what the facts, the decision(s), the reasoning and impact (if any) the cases have had.
Cases dealing with disability, are mostly those that deals with liberty and section 77-79 of the Criminal Procedure Act No51 of 1977. For instance in Nghiali v S (CA 42-2016)  NAHvCNLD 55 (15 June 2017) the appeal court made an Order in terms of s 77(6) for appellant to be detained in a mental hospital pending the signification of the State President. The recommendation was that the appellant can receive psychiatric treatment, as a civil patient, in terms of s 9 of the Mental Health Act.
6. Policies and programmes
6.1 Does Namibia have policies or programmes that directly address disability? If so, list each policy and explain how the policy addresses disability.
Policies and programmes that address disability issues in Namibia are as follows:
- National Policy on Disability 2004 with the mandate to accept the principles of participation, integration and equalisation of opportunities defined by the United Nations in the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons and The Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
- The National Policy on Special Needs and Inclusive Education (2008) to enable the regular school system to meet the diverse educational needs of all children, and increase the opportunities available to students with disabilities.
- The National Policy for Mental Health (2005) with the mandate to regulate matters with regard to mental health and institutionalisation of people with mental disabilities.
6.2 Does Namibia have policies and programmes that indirectly address disability? If so, list each policy and describe how the policy indirectly addresses disability.
No new information.
7. Disability bodies
7.1 Other than the ordinary courts or tribunals, does Namibia have any official body that specifically addresses the violation of the rights of people with disabilities? If so, describe the body, its functions and its powers.
No new information.
7.2 Other than ordinary courts or tribunals, does Namibia have any official body that though not established to specifically address the violation of the rights of people with disabilities, can nonetheless do so? If so, describe the body, its functions and its powers.
- Employment equity commission: To ensure that all categories of employment within the workforce of every relevant employer reflect our national demographic profile especially persons with disabilities. .
- Labour commission: address complains on workplace discrimination, which includes discrimination based on disability.
8. National human rights institutions
8.1 Does Namibia have a Human Rights Commission or an Ombudsman or Public Protector? Does its remit include the promotion and protection of the rights of people with disabilities? If your answer is yes, also indicate whether the Human Rights Commission or the Ombudsman or Public Protector of Namibia has ever addressed issues relating to the rights or persons with disabilities.
The Ombudsman: promotes and protect human rights for (including persons with disabilities), fair and effective administration, combat misappropriation or misuse of public resources and protect the environment and natural resources of Namibia through the independent and impartial investigation and resolution of complaints and through raising public awareness
9. Disabled peoples organisations (DPOs) and other civil society organisations
9.1 Do you have organisations that represent and advocate for the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities in Namibia? If so, list each organisation and describe its activities.
- The Ombudsman: promotes and protect human rights for (including persons with disabilities), fair and effective administration, combat misappropriation or misuse of public resources and protect the environment and natural resources of Namibia through the independent and impartial investigation and resolution of complaints and through raising public awareness. A Children’s Advocate in the Office of the Ombudsman has also been appointed and will function as contemplated in the Child Care and Protection Act. 2015 (Act no 3 of 2015.
- National organisation of youth with disabilities: provides for unity and voices for youth with disabilities.
- National association of persons with physical disabilities: acts as one voice for persons with physical disabilities as one of the largest disability group in Namibia.
- National association of wheelchair uses: advocates for the rights and needs of wheelchair users.
- National Down syndrome association: raised awareness and educate the public on Down syndrome and the rights of persons with Down syndrome.
- National autism association: advocacy and public education on the needs of persons with autism.
- Mental health association: addresses the needs of mental health users. It seeks to promote their rights and ensure that their voices are heard.
- National Federation of Persons with Disabilities in Namibia: acts as the central voice of all persons with disabilities in Namibia. It advocates for the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disability to ensure inclusive economic development in Namibia.
- Disability United Network: headed by the Office of the Vice President: Disability Affairs to provide a network between DPOs, Service Providers and other interested parties to ensure corroboration.
9.2 In the countries in your region, are DPOs organised or coordinated at a national and/or regional level?
They are mostly organised at the national level under the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia.
9.3 If Namibia has ratified the CRPD, how has it ensured the involvement of DPOs in the implementation process?
- By conducting consultations with the DPOs on disability issues.
- By ensuring that DPOs and service providers play an active role in all plans and activities that may affect persons with disabilities. For instance, DPOs and service providers took active part in the preparation and holding of the Stakeholder Workshop on the Understanding the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Strategies for disability inclusive development in Namibia 29 May 2018, Windhoek, Namibia. The workshop was held by the Office of the Vice President: Disability Affairs Department and the United Nations Country office.
- By encouraging the employment of persons with disability in management positions as per affirmative action requirements and reporting’s with the Employment Equity Commission.
- By providing a conducive environment for NGOs and other organisations and encouraging cooperation’s with different stakeholders.
9.4 What types of actions have DPOs themselves taken to ensure that they are fully embedded in the process of implementation?
- By working closely and cooperating with the Deputy Ministers on Disability Affairs, Disability Affairs Department: Office of the Vice President and other relevant stakeholders. They serve on a number or ministerial and other working committees, ensuring that disability in mainstreamed.
- They have taken steps in order to be actively involved in the processes taken by the government on disability issues. This is in terms of section 3(1)(d) of the National Disability Council Act that states that before a law relating to persons living with disabilities is passed, there must be consultations with persons with disabilities, organisations of persons with disabilities, and organisations rendering services to persons with disabilities, taking into consideration relevant information regarding the implementation of the National Policy on Disability.
- Ensuring that persons with disabilities are consulted in all disability matters. This is made possible by the fact that some of the executive members of the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia (NFPDN) and the National Disability Council.
9.5 What, if any, are the barriers DPOs have faced in engaging with implementation?
- Lack of interest by persons with disabilities that are deem themselves to “have made it in life”.
- Most DPOs have no income generating projects which can sustain our activities. They rely heavily on donor funding which is an unreliable source.
9.6 Are there specific instances that provide ‘best-practice models’ for ensuring proper involvement of DPOs?
- Public consultation on proposed laws. Persons with disability are invited and provided for to ensure that they are also consulted. E.g. bills in accessible formats, sign language interpreters provided.
- Ensuring that persons with disabilities are included in board and committees, to ensure that disability is mainstreamed in different issues.
9.7 Are there any specific outcomes regarding successful implementation and/or improved recognition of the rights of persons with disabilities that resulted from the engagement of DPOs in the implementation process?
- Appointment of persons with disabilities in managerial positions
- Higher tertiary, secondary and primary school educational percentages of persons with disabilities.
- Appointment of a disability specific Deputy Minister and department.
- Placing of disability issues at the Presidency to ensure mainstreaming in all offices, ministries and agencies.
- Representation of persons with disabilities on boards and working committees.
- Political appointment of persons with disabilities.
9.8 Has your research shown areas for capacity building and support (particularly in relation to research) for DPOs with respect to their engagement with the implementation process?
- Legal capacity to provide their inputs in bills up for public consultations
- Technical support and training on disability rights and the CRPD
- Non-corroborative statistical data from different information system.
9.9 Are there recommendations that come out of your research as to how DPOs might be more comprehensively empowered to take a leading role in the implementation processes of international or regional instruments?
- DPOs need to unite and work together. Working in isolation needs to end. Form networks with other groups and relevant stakeholders.
- Accurate desegregated data
- There is a need for proper implementation monitoring and evaluation of the laws in place to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
- Cooperation and collaboration among offices, ministries and Agencies in all sectors to ensure inclusive and disability friendly practices.
9.10 Are there specific research institutes in your region that work on the rights of persons with disabilities and that have facilitated the involvement of DPOs in the process, including in research?
- Amnesty Southern African Regional Office on albinism issues.
- United Nations Agencies through the Namibian country office in collaboration with the Deputy Minister on disability Affairs on the mainstreaming of disability in all sectors. The national disability workshop was held in May 2018. It focused on disability and emergency response; health; housing; education; statistics; employment; early childhood development; agriculture amongst others.
- Southern African Federation of the Disabled if working closely with the National Federation of Persons with Disabilities in Namibia.
- The World Federation of the Deaf works closely with the National Association of the Deaf.
- African Federation of the Blind; and the Swedish Association of the Visual Impaired are assisting the National Federation of the Visual Impaired on a human rights project.
- And the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
10. Government departments
10.1 Does Namibia have a government department or departments that is/ are specifically responsible for promoting and protecting the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities? If so, describe the activities of the department(s).
The current president Dr Hage Geingob in his call for an inclusive Namibia appointed Mrs Alexia Manombe-Nchube as the Deputy Minister responsible for disability affairs under the Office of the Vice President. Its mandate is provided for under the National Disability Policy 1997. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through enhancing the dignity, wellbeing and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
11. Main human rights concerns of people with disabilities
11.1 What are the contemporary challenges of persons with disabilities in Namibia? (For example, in some parts of Namibia ritual killing of certain classes of PWDs such as people with albinism occurs. Tanzania has been in the headlines in this regard. We should have a way of interrogating customary practices that discriminate, injure and kill persons with disabilities).
Persons with disabilities in Namibia face a number of challenges that include:
- The lack of adequate reasonable accommodation in education, health and employment.
- Access to justice is often limited, as court officials lack understanding on disability issues, sign language interpreters are often not available throughout the whole justice system. This is especially the case at community courts, police stations and district courts.
- Disability grants applications are often rejected due to medical officer’s opinion. In some instance, another person’s application with a similar disability is approved while another rejected, consistency is an issue.
- The full implementation of inclusive education at the tertiary level is lacking.
- Community misconceptions and believes around disability issues is one of the greatest challenges.
- Lack of understanding of different disability forms and needs is a great concern.
11.2 How does Namibia respond to the needs of person with disabilities with regard to the areas listed below:
- The Ministry of Health and Social Services is currently busy with the review of the Disability Grand Guidelines for medical officers to address inconsisdte4ncies in considerations by the medical officers on who is eligible for disability grants.
- The Disability Affairs Department under the Office of the Vice President in conjunction with the Namibian Student Financial Assistance Fund provides for study grants that focuses on the specific reasonable accommodation of the students with disabilities in some instances.
- Inter-ministerial Committee on Disability: to ensure disability mainstream and implementation in all ministries.
- The Law Reform and Development Commission is involved in the reform and development of law in Namibia. One of its focal areas is disability. Disability considerations is an essential considerations in all its processes.
11.3 Does Namibia provide for disability grants or other income support measures for persons with disabilities?
The following grants are provided:
- Disability grant: N$ 250p/m for children with disabilities under the age of 16, administered by the Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare. N$ 1200p/m for persons with disabilities above the age of 16 administered by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.
- Special maintenance: this is given to parents with disabilities to assist them with caring for their children without disabilities. They are granted N$ 250p/m per child, administered by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.
11.4 Do people with disabilities have a right to participation in political life (political representation and leadership) in Namibia?
Persons with disabilities can participate in political activities. Namibia currently have one minister and two deputy ministers with disabilities. Limitations are mostly found during the voting and election processes, as electoral laws are not adequate for person with other types of disabilities, other than visual and physical disabilities.
11.5 Specific categories experiencing particular issues/ vulnerability.
- No specific Substance Abuse Policy. The final draft of the substance abuse policy currently exists. This will play a role in substance abuse related mental disabilities.
- Extreme poverty, budgetary constraints, lack of skilled health professionals and low parental involvement are some of the challenger when it comes to catering for the needs of children with disabilities.
- Disability related financing is often limited is the first to be reduced and reallocated.
- Lack of monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of disability policies and legislation.
- Limited or no implementation of disability policies and to limited accountability by the responsible implementation agencies, institutions and government offices.
- Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for women with disabilities remains an issue.
12. Future perspective
12.1 Are there any specific measures with regard to persons with disabilities being debated or considered in Namibia at the moment?
Apart from the bills considers in question 12, the only other disability related matter that is currently being discussed is the Strengthening Integrated Systems to Promote Access to Services for Persons with Disabilities in Namibia Project that will run for 3 years. The project will specifically focus on ensuring that women and girls with disabilities, especially in rural communities, equally benefit from the different training interventions so that they can better participate and meaningfully contribute to interventions addressing their needs. Advocacy will be conducted with the participating DPOs to ensure that women and girls with disabilities are equally part of the decision making process in their respective organizations. Focal points in the project will include women with disabilities and representatives of persons with intellectual disabilities. The programme was developed by a steering committee consisting of representatives from the organizations from Government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSO, academia and the United Nations, with an equal representation of sexes.
12.2 What legal reforms are being raised? Which legal reforms would you like to see in Namibia? Why?
A number of legal reforms are currently underway. These include the following:
- Divorce Bill provide for the grounds of divorce for marriages, the recognition of foreign divorce orders; and to provide for incidental matters. Section 5 provides that any patrimonial benefit of the marriage be forfeited by a spouse in favour of the other, if the marriage had irretrievably broken down due to mental illness or continuous unconsciousness of a defendant or respondent.
- Basic Education Bill: provide free and compulsory basic education through accessible, equitable, qualitative and democratic education service and life-long learning. The Bill defines the following terms such as “inclusive education”, “Mainstream” and “mainstream schooling”, "Socio-economically disadvantaged learner" and "Special education needs". The Bill lists disability as a ground for non-discrimination Clause 6(2)( c) and 7(1)(b). Clause 12 gives the minister powers to ensure that the national policy on inclusive education is being applied in all schools and that there are available resources, tools and facilities required so that this may be implemented effectively; make provision for separate vote for funding education provision to learners with disabilities to cater for inclusive education and resource schools in accordance with the decentralisation policy of the State; and where it is reasonably possible, establish specialised centers of resources which support schools in the implementation of the policy on inclusive education addressing the specific needs of learners with disabilities and other special needs in education amongst others. Clause 15 recognizes sign language as a language for purposes of learning and communication in schools and should be considered as a basic practice in all schools with deaf learners. Finally, clause 62 makes provision for membership of school board of state school for learners with special education needs and persons with disabilities.
- National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework: to develop and implement the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework; and the promotion of coordination between the various pillars of economic empowerment; to provide for the issue of a national programme for economic transformation and empowerment, economic empowerment standards and transformation charters. It makes specific reference to persons with disabilities as one of the designated groups in terms of affirmative action to ensure inclusive economic transformation.
- Human Trafficking Bill: makes specific reference to persons with disabilities as part of the vulnerable groups that require protection. It includes human body parts in its definition of human trafficking.
- Mental Health Bill: provides for the administration, care and treatment of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities. The Bill is progressive in some aspects such as the prohibition of sterilization of persons with mental and related disabilities, protecting the best interests of children with mental and intellectual disabilities and provides for patient rights.
 Namibia Inter-censal Demographic Survey 2016 Report p12.
 World Meters http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/namibia-population/ accessed 28 November 2018.
 Namibia Inter-censal Demographic Survey 2016 Report p33.
 Namibia Inter-censal Demographic Survey 2016 Report p58.
 Namibia Inter-censal Demographic Survey 2016 Report p58.
 Integration of early childhood development in Namibia: 2018 factsheet. UNICEF
 Namibia Inter-censal Demographic Survey 2016 Report p58.
 Namibia 6th Periodic Report on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in 2015 p3.
 Namibia 6th Periodic Report on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in 2015 p11.
 Committee against Torture Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention pursuant to the optional reporting procedure second periodic reports of States parties due in 1999 Namibia. CAT/C/NAM/2 25 November 2015.
 Committee against Torture Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 19 of the Convention pursuant to the optional reporting procedure second periodic reports of States parties due in 1999 Namibia. CAT/C/NAM/2 25 November 2015, p7-9.
 Namibia in its written Replies to Questions Raised by the Committee Members on the Occasion of 116th Session of the Human Rights Committee 10 March 2016 Geneva, Switzerland p2-3.
 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention Fourth and fifth periodic reports of States parties due in 2009 Namibia 13 December 2013 p44.
 Namibia’s response to the List of issues in relation to the combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Namibia by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Sixty-first session6 – 24 July 2015 Item 4 of the provisional agenda* Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women p13
. Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Sixth Periodic Reports of the Republic of Namibia on the Implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (2011 – 2013) 58th Ordinary Session 6 - 20 April 2016 in Banjul, Islamic Republic of The Gambia p7-8. The Commission commented on Namibia’s- i. provision of subsidies to support social housing programmes for people with disabilities under the National Housing Policy; iii. the enactment of laws and adoption of policies to protect the rights of Persons with Disabilities; v. the modification of traffic lights in Windhoek to enable the visually impaired and people on wheel chairs to cross the streets safely on their own; vi. the acquisition by the City of Windhoek, of buses that can be used by people on wheel chairs and vii. the directive from the Office of the Prime Minister that all government buildings must make provision for ramps and elevators in order to facilitate physical access for people with disabilities.
Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Sixth Periodic Reports of the Republic of Namibia on the Implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (2011 – 2013) 58th Ordinary Session 6 - 20 April 2016 in Banjul, Islamic Republic of The Gambia p13.
 Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Sixth Periodic Reports of the Republic of Namibia on the Implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (2011 – 2013) 58th Ordinary Session 6 - 20 April 2016 in Banjul, Islamic Republic of The Gambia p16.
 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Concluding observations on the second report of Namibia 22 April 2016 p2.
 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Concluding observations on the second report of Namibia 22 April 2016 p3.
 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights List of issues in relation to the initial report of Namibia 9 November 2015 p2.
 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Concluding observations on the initial report of Namibia 23 March 2016 p4.
 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Concluding observations on the initial report of Namibia 23 March 2016 p4.
 Committee on the Rights of the Child Concluding observations on the consolidated second and third periodic reports of Namibia, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-first session (17 September–5 October 2012) p4-5.
 Committee on the Rights of the Child Concluding observations on the consolidated second and third periodic reports of Namibia, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-first session (17 September–5 October 2012) p7.
 Committee on the Rights of the Child Concluding observations on the consolidated second and third periodic reports of Namibia, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-first session (17 September–5 October 2012) p13.
 Committee on the Rights of the Child Concluding observations on the consolidated second and third periodic reports of Namibia, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-first session (17 September–5 October 2012) p14.
 Human Rights Council Thirty-second session Agenda item 6 Universal Periodic Review Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. Namibia Addendum Views on conclusions and/or recommendations, voluntary commitments and replies presented by the State under reviewp6.
 Human Rights Council Thirty-second session Agenda item 6 Universal periodic review Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Namibia (whole document).
 Section 9 provides that: (1) Every person, authority, institution or body must treat a child with disabilities in a manner which respects the child’s dignity. (2) A child with disabilities is entitled to appropriate care and protection and must have effective access, insofar as reasonably possible and in the best interests of the child, to inclusive and non-discriminatory education, training, health care services, support services, rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and recreation opportunities in a manner conducive to enabling the child to achieve the fullest possible social integration and individual development, ensuring his or her dignity and promoting his or her self-reliance and active participation in the community.
 Draft initial country report to the United Nations committee on the rights of persons with disabilities on the implementation of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities 2014 p38.
 Abortion and Sterilization Act s3(1)(c).
 Abortion and Sterilization Act s3(1)(e).
 As more than 4000 people or 44% of car crash victims in 2015 suffered serious spiral cord injuries and 56% suffered brain trauma, requiring long term or permanent care. See Road crashes and permanent disabilities by Ellaine Smit. The Namibian Sun 8 August 2016 p3.
 Reponses by the Government of Namibia, Human Rights Resolution 17/11 on violence against women and girls and disability (2011) 3 http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/women/docs/.../ Governments/Namibia.do (accessed 24 May 2013).
 SAFOD RESEARCH PROGRAMME (SRP) National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia (NFPDN) Country Report Compiled by: Sevelinus Haufiku and Maria Uanivi p4
.  Dausab .Y. & Pinkonski K. 2007. Visser v Ministry of Finance: Amissed opportunity to clarify the equality provision within a Namibian disability paradigm. In Zongwe D.P. & Dausab .Y. eds. 2007. The Law Reform and Development Commission of Namibia at 23: a quarter century of social carpentry LRDC
.  Teen denied flight on Air Namibia due to disability. New Era Reporter 2017-05-29 https://neweralive.na/posts/teen-denied-flight-on-air-namibia-due-to-disability accessed 2 December 2018
 The amount is based on the notion that both parents have a duty to maintain their child until their age of majority. The state only lends a helping hand. See Maintenance Act 9 of 2003 section 3. (1) Subject to section 26 and to the law relating the duty of a parent to maintain a child who is unable to support himself or herself, both parents of a child are liable to maintain that child regardless of whether the - (a) child in question is born inside or outside the marriage of the parents; (b) child is born of a first, current or subsequent marriage; and (c) parents are subject to any system of customary law which does not recognise both parents’ liability to maintain a child.
 Hon. Bishop. Emeritus Zephania Kameeta Minister of Poverty Eradication & Social Welfare.
 Honorable Samuel Chief Ankama Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Honorable Alexia Manombe-Nchube Deputy Minister Disability Affairs Office of the Vice President.
 National Stakeholder Workshop on Disability understanding The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD): “Strategies for Disability Inclusive Development in Namibia 31 – 29 May 2018 Safari Court Hotel & Conference Centre Windhoek, Namibia p22.
 Namibia https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles_countries_n_r1.pdf?ua=1 accessed 28 January 2019
.  Baseline Study Report on Human Rights in Namibia https://www.ombudsman.org.na/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Baseline_Strudy_Human_Rights_2013.pdf p80
 Implementation of disability policy framework in Namibia: A qualitative study by Tonderai W. Shumba and Indres Moodley https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6093090/ accessed 28 January 2019.
 National Stakeholder Workshop on Disability understanding The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD): “Strategies for Disability Inclusive Development in Namibia 31 – 29 May 2018 Safari Court Hotel & Conference Centre Windhoek, Namibia p15.