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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home and in some forms of private day care.
Overview of the child rights situation

Namibia suffers greatly from climate change and poverty in the country. Children are abandoned due to unwanted pregnancies and refugee children and children with disabilities do not have the same access to health services and education.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee expresses grave concern at the abandonment of new-born children (or “baby-dumping”) and infanticide in the State party, often resulting from the high number of teenage pregnancies, child rape and inadequate access to sexual and reproductive health care and information.
Namibia should address the root causes of teenage pregnancies, strengthen support for pregnant adolescents and provide them with adequate sexual and reproductive health services.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability and specifically recommends that it ensure that all legislation on children 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. It further recommends to ensure that children with disabilities are able to exercise their right to education, and provide for their inclusion in the mainstream education system to the greatest extent possible, including by providing teachers with special training, by increasing facilities for children with disabilities and by making schools more accessible.
Namibia should also provide effective remedies in cases of violations of the rights of children with disabilities, and ensure that those remedies are easily accessible to all children with disabilities. In addition, the Committee recommends that Namibia strengthen efforts to ensure that necessary professional and financial resources are available, especially at the local level, and promote and expand community-based health services programmes.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned that refugees face serious challenges in registering the birth of their children, as officials are reluctant to issue birth certificates to foreign children born in Namibia. Furthermore, the legal directive which requires refugees and asylum seekers to reside in the isolated Osire refugee settlement restricts their freedom of movement to register the births of their children. Therefore, the Committee strongly urges Namibia to establish effective procedures to identify unaccompanied and separated asylum-seeking and refugee children and immediately take special measures to register their births.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure that all children enjoy the same access to and quality of health services. It further urges the State party to address socioeconomic disadvantages and other root causes for the existing health deficits. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen efforts to address, as matter of urgency, the high rates of malnutrition of children, and develop educational programmes, including campaigns to inform parents about basic child health and nutrition, hygiene and environmental sanitation and reproductive health. In addition, Namibia should improve access to maternal care services, particularly in rural areas, by improving health infrastructure and increasing the availability and accessibility to emergency obstetric and neonatal care and skilled birth attendants at lower- and district-level health facilities. The Committee further recommends that the State Party take special measures to ensure that pregnant adolescents have easy access to sexual and reproductive health care.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is alarmed by the high levels of suicides among children in the State party. The Committee notes with grave concern the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ assessment that the suicide rate among youth has increased in recent years. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of data on mental health problems, the inadequate availability of trained mental health practitioners in schools and rural areas, and the limited awareness among professionals working with children on the importance of identifying and addressing mental health concerns.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee takes note of the fact that the State party is one of the countries most affected by climate change and the increasing impact of natural hazards, such as floods, storms and drought, leading to changes in the disease patterns, reduced agricultural outputs and food insecurity.

Business sector

The Committee notes the State party’s information that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has complied with its international obligations to guarantee the safety of uranium activities. However, it is concerned that multinational and national companies in the country, notably the mining and uranium-producing industries, are operating in the absence of clear regulatory frameworks to ensure that international human rights, environmental and other standards, especially relating to child and women’s rights, are adhered to, in order to protect natural resources such as land, air and water and the persons, families and communities affected by high levels of radioactive toxicity and pollution. In addition, the Committee notes with concern that the Environmental Management Act, which has important safeguards relating to environmental impact assessments prior to licensing and monitoring compliance with the law, has also not entered into force. It also notes with concern that issues relating to the environmental and health impact of uranium mining are neither discussed nor communicated to the persons concerned or disclosed to the public.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges the State party to establish children’s courts in all regions of the State party and to provide all professionals working in the juvenile justice system with
training on the Convention and other relevant international standards.
The Committee further urges Namibia to protect the rights of children deprived of their liberty and improve their conditions of detention and imprisonment, in particular by establishing special prisons for children with conditions suited to their age and needs, and ensuring the provision of social services in all detention centres in the country, and, in the meantime, guarantee separation of children from adults in all prisons and pretrial detention centres throughout the country. Namibia should also gather information on the number and legal situation of children in detention, their conditions of detention and cases of children who have been provided with legal assistance, and to make such information publicly available.

Specific observations

The Committee welcomes the State party’s countrywide campaign to raise awareness of children in street situations and integrate them back into schools. The Committee, however, is concerned at reports that children in street situations are regularly subject to exploitation, abuse, discrimination and stigmatization, as well as to arrest and detention by police. In addition, the Committee is concerned at the institutionalization of children in street situations in the State party.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second and third periodic reports released on 16 October 2012.
More information about education:
Namibian Constitution

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022