Namibia Ombudsman Hosts Round-table on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

08 April 2019

The roundtable, led by Ombudsman John Walters and supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat, brought together participants from government, faith-based organisations, civil society, academia, and the LGBTI+ community. Participants developed proposals for greater inclusion and representation of the LGBTI+ community and recognised the need to improve service provision for marginalised people in areas such as health and education.

Image courtesy of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Deputy Minister of Justice, Lidwina Shapwa, highlighted the importance of the round-table in raising issues that can assist in reforming laws, particularly those related to ‘issues of sexual orientation and inequality [and] gender inequalities’.

Discussing their support of the roundtable Karen McKenzie. Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said:

“Our work with the Ombudsman of Namibia is focused on national human rights challenges such as sexual orientation and gender identity and how to sustain an inclusive national dialogue. This initial conversation was commendable. It included representation and participation from the highest levels in government and parliament”.

The conference built on another roundtable on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, which focussed on realisation of these rights through the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. In her opening address to participants the First Lady of Namibia, Monica Geingos, commended the organisation of the event and said, “we normally look at these issues from a health perspective, but you’ve extended that angle to a rights perspective. We must not only plan for now with regards to SRHR but also plan for future generations.”

More information on both roundtable events is available here.

CFNHRI recently held two events on how NHRIs and other human rights representatives can use UPR to advance minority rights, sexual and reproductive health rights, and improve monitoring and implementation of UN human rights recommendations. Read more…

NHRI Samoa has shared information about their National Action Plan to improve the health rights of Fa’afafine and Fa’afatama communities on Samoa, and to build institutional capacity for the NHRI to better protect the human rights of LGBTI people. Read more…

The Office of the Ombudsman of Namibia promotes and protect human rights, 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.

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