Tuesday, 30. October 2012, Geneva.
Mister Vice President,
My delegation would like to congratulate Zambia on the holding of elections last year and for the resulting peaceful and constitutional transfer of powers.
We welcome Zambia’s national report on the human rights situation in the country, although we find that more clarity could have been provided on the follow-up of accepted recommendations from the first cycle of the UPR.
Norway is pleased that the Zambian Human Rights Commission has been accepted as a National Human Rights Institution in line with the Paris Principles.
- We recommend Zambia to provide sufficient funding for this institution, enabling them to carry out its task as Human Rights watchdog.
It is the hope of my delegation that Zambia’s constitution review process will reflect the wishes and needs of the Zambian people, while incorporating international human rights. Considering the recent macro-economic growth of Zambia, we encourage the Government to ensure that resources are distributed so as to enhance the provision of economic, social and cultural rights for all.
We welcome that Zambia has taken a firm stand on gender based violence, including the enactment of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act in 2011. We are concerned, however, that the problem persists.
- We recommend that Zambia adopt concrete measures to address violence against women, including by criminalizing marital rape and increasing public awareness of the problem with a particular focus on religious and community leaders.
Several stakeholders are concerned that sexual activity between consenting adults of same sex remains prohibited under the Criminal Code.
- We recommend that Zambia ensure thorough and impartial investigation into all allegations of attacks and threats against individuals targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
1) During the last UPR Zambia accepted a recommendation to adopt the Freedom of Information Act. Could you please give an update on the progress made to this end?
2) What steps have been taken to further facilitate a climate of freedom of expression and open political debate, e.g. by reforming of the Defamation Act in the Zambian Penal Code?
3) What steps can be taken to improve the rights of women in family matters and matters regarding inheritance to land.
4) What steps have been taken by the Zambian Government to reform the NGO-act of 2009 in order to meet the concerns of civil society?
5) Will the Government consider raising the age of criminal responsibility to the minimum age 12 years and to continue to increase it to a higher age level in line with the CRC Committee’s general Comment nr. 10?