Ombudsman-Portrait

John R. Walters
Ombudsman

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.

This web presence serves to provide access to information and a means of providing contact details for the various branch offices. The annual reports as well as special reports are available for download in various formats. There is also a library containing the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia. First for Namibia the constitution is now also available in audio format. The audio edition is is playable online and is professionally read.

News

Public hearings on Racism/Racial and general Discrimination kick off

The public hearings on Racism/ Racial and general Discrimination were rounded off in Windhoek last week. Several concerned groups mad submissions on what they deem as discrimination and how they believe the issues should be tackled. The presentations brought to light many issues that the Namibian people have struggled with over the years and still continue to plague our society. Law Professor, Nico Horn, Legal Assistance Director Ms Toni Hancox and National Coordinator of the Namibian Diverse Women Association , Ms Linda Baumann of served as panel members throughout the hearings and will assist the Ombudsman with the final report.
The hearings will continue across the Zambezi , Kunene, Hardap and Oshikoto Regions in order to gauge the view of the marginalized communities. The general public are welcome to make their submissions to adavid@ombudsman.org.na or epretorius@ombudsman.org.na all submissions will be treated as confidential. You can further courier your submission to our head office. The Ombudsman aims to get the public’s perception on issues of Racism/Racial and general Discrimination in order to help guide and re-visits existing laws and formulate regulations against these types of discrimination.

Public Hearings on Racism/Racial and Discrimination in General

1. Introduction

1.1 The Office of the Ombudsman launched the Baseline Study Report on Human Rights In Namibia on the 2nd October 2013 that assisted with the identification of priority human rights concerns for Namibia. The survey served as a basis on which Office of the Ombudsman commissioned the preparation of a draft consultative framework for the prioritized human rights areas to serve as a basis for facilitating a participatory and consultative process involving relevant stakeholders in eventually drafting Namibia’s 1st National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP).

1.2 One of the focus areas identified was “The Right not to be Discriminated Against”, for which the Office of the Ombudsman assumed responsibility. The responsibility includes interventions that would achieve the following objectives:

• To conduct research on the prevalence of discrimination in Namibia;
• To intensify public education and awareness raising;
• to promote legal and regulatory reform that will give effect to non-discrimination provisions in various international and regional instruments.

1.3 It is against this background that the Ombudsman decided to call for public hearings through which the necessary research could be conducted in order to get a sense of the prevalence of racism and racial/general discrimination in Namibia, as a pre-cursor to compile recommendations for legal and regulatory reform that will give effect to non-discrimination provisions in various international and regional instruments.

2. Key Activities

Key activities will include the following:

2.1 Formal hearings in Windhoek during which various invited organisations will make presentations to a panel assembled by the Ombudsman

2.2 Community meetings in various regions

2.3 A comprehensive media campaign to run alongside the hearings

In addition, the Ombudsman wants to give members of the public the opportunity to also provide him with written presentations on the subject, which is the purpose of this call on the website and Facebook pages . Presentations can be emailed to: office@ombudsman.org.na and should include the following:

• the person’s understanding of Racism and Racial/General Discrimination;
• experience/s of racism/discrimination;
• proposals on how the issues could be addressed, either in new legislation or amending existing legislation.