Do good for others

24 April 2019 | Opinion

Human rights are needed to protect and preserve every individual's humanity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear in highlighting the basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled to. Basic rights such as right to free movement, freedom from discrimination, right to life and freedom from slavery, are essential to the functioning of a democracy, Namibia included. It is, however, disappointing to read in the latest report titled ‘Are Africans’ freedoms slipping away?’ that only half of Namibians believe that they have the right of freedom of association. The report further states that only 77% of Namibians believe they enjoy freedom of expression, while 49% of Namibians feel they have to be careful when they talk about politics. Interestingly, the report also finds that 37% of Namibians believe the government has the right to monitor communications, while 61% support privacy of communication. This begs the question if the Namibian authorities are doing everything possible to protect the lives of the most vulnerable in society, especially children. Our children have the right to have their basic needs met, including to be fed, to be educated free of charge and to receive proper healthcare, which are just some of their legally guaranteed rights. But more often we read and listen to excruciating reports of child abuse and the continuous neglect of those truly in need. Although Namibia is a much better place than it was 29 years ago, those in power must not rest on their laurels when it comes to the important mandate of promoting basic rights for its citizens. Our forefathers fought a long and bitter war for our freedom and independence and we can ill-afford to betray their rich legacies. Therefore we should not relent in all our efforts to defend and preserve basic human rights in our country, Africa and the rest of the world where there are huge struggles to build lasting and stable peace regimes.

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