Norway welcomes the presentation of the national report of the delegation of Zimbabwe, and takes note of the stated intention of promoting and upholding human rights for all. We recommend that the Government of Zimbabwe cooperates closely with local human rights organizations in the follow up to this Universal Periodic Review.
First we would like to reiterate our support for the Government of National Unity. We see the implementation of the Global Political Agreement as crucial for the nation and are worried about the slow implementation. Norway supports the ongoing constitutional process in Zimbabwe which we hope will lead to free and fair elections.
We recommend that Zimbabwe considers how the riches of the country of the country best can contribute to improve social and economic rights for all. We are concerned about the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and we ask actors to ensure that humanitarian aid is reaching all, across political boundaries in a non-discriminatory way.
We are concerned about reports of harassment of journalists and media despite the fact that freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Zimbabwean constitution. Norway recommends that the Government ensures an environment where freedom of expression is respected and that national laws are amended to strengthen these rights. We welcome the establishment of commissions of the media, human rights and anti-corruption and recommend further strengthening of these institutions.
Norway is also concerned over the many cases of arbitrary arrests, detentions and harassment of civil society activists, NGOs and human rights defenders. Norway recommends that Zimbabwe stops the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators and that Zimbabwe incorporates the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in national legislation. Norway further recommends that standing invitations are issued to United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders, and that fact finding missions to Zimbabwe are welcomed and facilitated.
Norway also recommends Zimbabwe to continue the work according to the National Action Plan II to focus on the situation for orphans and vulnerable children to ensure their access to health care and education..We are very concerned about the orphans caught up in the battle for property within the Anglican church. We therefore strongly recommend that the Zimbabwean authorities look into this matter and ensure that orphans are being given experienced caretakers and have their basic rights covered. We will continue to support Zimbabwe’s effort to improve the situation for the rights of children.