GRN NAMIBIA: END STATE-SANCTIONED HOMO-TRANSPHOBIA & PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS #NoHateInMyState

GRN NAMIBIA: END STATE-SANCTIONED HOMO-TRANSPHOBIA & PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS #NoHateInMyState

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Namibia Equal Rights Movement NERM started this petition to Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration and

                             NAMIBIA EQUAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT (@equalnamibia)

PARLIAMENT OF NAMIBIA MUST END STATE-SANCTIONED HOMO-TRANSPHOBIA, CONDEMN HATE SPEECH AND PROTECT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF LGBTQ+ PERSONS.  

A call to action to the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) to end it’s state-sanctioned homophobia and use public policy to protect and promote LGBTQ+ rights in Namibia. 

LGBTQ+ Rights are the civil rights issue of our generation, and is a human rights issue that disproportionately affect the youth of Namibia. Including  bread-and-butter HUMAN RIGHTS issues. 

         31 Years after Independence in Namibia, we recognize that there is no meaningful freedom without equality. There is incongruity between constitutional rights and equal access to justice for LGBTQ+ Namibians. 

        As GRN Ministers use public policy to promote state-sanctioned homo-transphobia and violate the Constitutional rights of LGBTQ+ Namibians, namely: Article 10 [Equality and Freedom From Discrimination], there are more than 9 active court cases in 2021 alone pertaining to LGBTQ+ human rights violations against the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety & Security(MHAISS). 

            EVIDENCE OF STATE-SANCTIONED HOMO-TRANSPHOBIA

        The National Assembly of the Parliament of Namibia will soon be voting on a bill: Combatting of Domestic Violence Act, which only give state recognition, and protection, to opposite-sex/heterosexual partners. In a country where there is skyrocketing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) our GRN is effectively telling Namibians: "Only heterosexuals deserve equality, protection and safety in domestic violence, same-sex partners lives don't matter". This is blatant state-sanctioned homophobia. 

         Trans persons in Namibia face serve police brutality, human rights and torture violations in prisons and unlawful arrests. Police often face little to no accountability for the Constitutional and human rights violations of LGBTQ+ persons. 

         On May 20th, the SWAPO Youth League Secretary Nekongo used his political office as a leader of the youth, to incite violence upon the LGBTQ+ community. His words dehumanized and severely discriminated against a minority group, which the Parliament of Namibia, in 2014, has relegated a “vulnerable group" under the National Human Rights Action Plan. 

        As elected representatives of the Namibian people, it is disheartening to witness the silence from our Members of Parliament in the face of such violent discrimination. Members of Parliament are not only stewards of our democracy, but are protectorates of our Constitution. Where the Constitutional calls for the expansion of fundamental Bill of Rights (Chapter 3), and not the limitation of them. Therefore, the National Assembly has a mandate to serve in the best interest of any minority group.

            On behalf of grassroots community activists, LGBTQ+ allies and more than eighteen Namibian human rights organizations, we bring to your attention violation of human’s rights carried through by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and ring the alarm to the silence from our Members of Parliament. 

The  Equal Namibia, launched on 21st March 2021 (Independence Day), is calling on:

  • The Members of Parliament of the Republic of Namibia to condemn state-sanctioned homo-transphobia, and hate speech arising from SPYL and other public/political office bearers;
  • The Members of Parliament of the Republic of Namibia to act on their commitment made in passing the National Human Rights Action Plan 2015-2019, which calls for LGBTQ+ human rights policy reviews and protections;
  • The Members of Parliament of the Republic of Namibia to pass the Repeal of Sexual Offenses Bill (tabled to Cabinet by the LRDC);
  • The Members of Parliament of the Republic of Namibia to send the Domestic Violence Act back to the Parliament Standing Committee on Gender and Youth Affairs, and hold public hearings on possible amendments for this bill; 
  • The Members of Parliament of the Republic of Namibia to pass a "Namibia Equality Act" which will promote and enshrine Constitutional protections of LGBTQ+ Namibians, and prohibit unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; 
  • The SPYL Secretary Nekongo, to resign from office;
  • Minister Kawana, to rescind MHAISS's discriminatory and homo-transphobic policies and withdraw any and all of the 9+ court cases that violate LGBTQ+ human rights;
  • Ombudsman, Adv John Walters, to intervene and investigate the MHAISS abuse of power and the Minister's mis-use of public policy and public office in violating LGBTQ+ human and  Constitutional rights;
  • Ombudsman, Adv John Walters, to intervene and investigate the SPYL's incitement of violence through their homophobic hate-speech, and take appropriate actions necessary, as per Article 91 [Duty of the Ombudsman]: "to investigate complaints concerning alleged or apparent instances of violations of fundamental rights and freedoms";
  • Minister Doreen Sioka, Minister Doreen Sioka, Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Child Welfare, to intervene and prevent MHAISS from abusing the Child Care and Protection Act 2015, and requiring an arbitrary genetic test from children born to LGBTQ+ parents;
  • President Geingob, to publicly acknowledge that the LGBTQ+ community is subject to harassment, abuse, and unequal treatment that is incongruent with the promise of Independence and the constitution, in other words with the foundations of his all-inclusive Namibian House. For President Geingob to instruct Parliament to pass a Namibian Equality Act which will enshrine LGBTQ+ rights in the Constitution. 
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ABOUT EQUAL NAMIBIA: Equal Namibia, a coalition of individuals and organizations committed to realizing the constitutional promise of equality, to its fullest extent, for LGBQT+ people. The Coalition is formed by Sister Namibia; Namibia Institute for Democracy; Namibia Diverse Women's Association; Power Pad Girls; Positive Vibes; The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA); Voices for Choices and Rights Coalition (VCRC); Women’s Leadership Centre; Regain Trust; Rights Not Rescue; Wings To Transcend Namibia Trust (WTTN); Young Feminists Namibia Trust (Y-Fem); Rainbow Reflections of Namibia; Shut It All Down Namibia; Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA); I Am Not Next Africa Community (IANNA), Slut Shame Movement.

LINKS TO ADDITONAL RESOURCES:

The Namibian: Battle to Bring Babies Home

The Namibian: Parent-child genetic link 'not required by law'

BBC Africa: Namibian court denies entry to gay couple's surrogate daughters

NERM Linktree(Get Involved)

Delgado Luhl Family Legal Cases- FACTSHEET

Legal Assistance Center Press Release on Court Verdict: Neglecting the Children's Best Interests 

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