Namibia's Children

Namibia's Children

 

Namibia's Children


©UNICEFNamibia/2012/Manuel Moreno

Namibia’s framework for development for children rests on three national documents: the Constitution, Vision 2030 and the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4). The Constitution commits the country to a rights-based framework for its citizens. Vision 2030 guides Namibian development by establishing long-term goals. NDP4 implements Vision 2030 with short and medium term actions.

The Constitution establishes a broad framework of rights in Chapter 3, Article 15 defines rights of children and Article 14 defines the rights of the family as the fundamental unit of society. Namibia has adopted a number of international human rights instruments that strengthen and extend the rights base for children. Primary among these is the CRC, which in its 54 Articles and two Optional Protocols, commits the country to internationally defined standards of rights for children. The African Charter of the Rights and Welfare of the Child echoes the CRC but takes account of the specific social, economic and developmental conditions prevailing in Africa as they relate to the rights of a child. Other major human rights instruments relating to children that Namibia has adopted include the International Labour Organisation’s Conventions 138 on Minimum Age for Employment and 182 for Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, the Convention Against Transnational Crime, and the Protocol to Prevent the Trafficking of Persons. The Child Care and Protection Bill which is currently under review will include further measures relating to the prevention of trafficking.

Vision 2030 aims to transform Namibia into a developed country by guiding policy development and long-term initiatives. Vision 2030 aims to achieved A prosperous and industrialised Namibia, developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability.”  Eight specific objectives are defined to create a society that cares for the health, education and rights of its citizens, that fully develops its human resources, and that ensures the sustainability of its natural resource sector.

Namibia, in support of this, has developed a wealth of policies, many of them targeted toward children. The National Plan of Action (NPA) on Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (OVC) provides a mechanism to coordinate a multi-agency and multi-sectoral response to the needs of OVC. The Education Sector policy on OVC provides protection to such children within the education sector. The Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) is a broad effort to improve teaching and learning across all segments of the education sector.

NDP4

guides progress to Vision 2030 until 2017. It is divided into individual Key Result Areas (KRAs) that correspond to specific Vision 2030 goals. In this way the plans and outcomes of government activities are linked through the KRA’s to Vision 2030 goals. The NDP4 action plan brings together the efforts of government, civil society and development partners.

In 2005 the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) was created as a lead agency for activities devoted to children. There are at least nine other ministries which provide services to children, including the Ministries of Education, Health and Social Services, Safety and Security, Justice, and Home Affairs and Immigration.

 

 
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