We are kept in dark places - Katrina

14 June 2019 | Life Style

Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says 'The Journey' human rights campaign, which ends today, is the perfect platform for even the most timid voices to speak up.

“Because we are voiceless we are kept in dark places, but the moment we realise we are human and we have rights guaranteed in the Namibian constitution, our voices will come out,” she said.

The Journey - a brainchild of National ouncil chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams - uses dialogue and visual and performing arts to address human rights issues. It started on Wednesday.

Mensah-Williams emphasised that this is a journey in which Namibians, already with a Bill of Rights, demand their human rights.

“It is a journey of hope to ignite the right to belong. A journey of raising our voices and a journey of managing trauma, as well as a journey of removing the swords from our hearts,” she said.

Deputy gender minister Lucia Witbooi said so many children living on the streets are deprived of the right to be raised by their own parents.

“We should take into account that we have an opportunity to explore the journey, to document and identify the experiences of survivors as well as the effects that gender-based violence had on them,” she said.

Witbooi said government must focus on the development of child behaviour programmes as well as life and relationship skills.

Namibia has made a great strides in its journey to ensure access to human rights protections for all its citizens, and this has been bolstered by The Journey. Included in the country's journey so far has been the tabling of various parliamentary motions and the signing of international treaties and laws.

JEMIMA BEUKES