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.
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
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.