Botswana Botswana: 1st Periodic Report, 1986-2007

Periodic Report

Period Covered:1986 - 2007
Date Considered: 25 November 2009
Session Considered:46th Ordinary Session
11 - 25 November 2009. Gambia

Concluding Observations

Adopted at 47th Ordinary Session, 12 - 26 May 2010, Banjul, Gambia.


V - Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of Botswana should:

48. Ensure that it involves all relevant NGOs in the preparation of its next Periodic Report, including the Botswana Centre for Human Rights (Ditshwanelo);

49. Ensure that the next Periodic Report include environmental issues, and should enumerate how the Government is fulfilling its obligations under Articles 27 – 29 of the African Charter.
50. Take urgent and concrete measures to abolish laws that allow corporal punishment in schools and prisons
51. Take steps towards establishing a National Human Rights Commission or elevate the Office of the Ombudsman to look into cases of violations of human rights by non-state actors.
52. Expedite the implementation of the Judicial Case Management System to address the problems of backlog of cases;

53. Take the necessary steps to amend the Constitution to incorporate economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

54. Ratify the ICESCR.

55. Undertake to make a declaration accepting the competence of the African Court under Article 34(6) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

56. Consider withdrawing the reservations made by it on CAT and amend the provisions of the Constitution on torture in accordance with internationally and regionally recognized norms and standards. The Government should also legislate laws that criminalize torture.

57. Take the necessary steps to institute a moratorium on the death penalty, and to this effect, the African Commission recommends that the Government works closely with the former’s Working Group on the Death Penalty;

58. Take legislative measures so that the President’s powers in expelling non-nationals out of the country and in branding a non-national as dangerous to peace and order can be subjected to judicial control.

59. Put in place mechanisms to encourage and promote women’s participation in the social, economic and political affairs of the State.

60. Make the necessary arrangements to build a separate prison for female prisoners.

61. Conduct consultations with all the relevant stakeholders involved in the administration of justice, including families of detainees with a view to increase the frequency and time duration of visit by friends and relatives of convicted prisoners.

62. Take the necessary legislative measures and material preparations to extend free legal assistance to all crimes where the accused person cannot afford to pay legal representation fees. Such assistance could be means tested.

63. Start implementing the 2006 decisions of the High Court in relation with the Basawara people of the Kalahari. In this regard, it should focus on the cultural rights and socio-economic needs of the Basawara people.

64. Consult and/or work closely with the African Commission’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa in finding practical ways of implementing the decisions of the Court.

65. Take the necessary steps to amend the provision of the Constitution which makes the English language a requirement for election to the National Assembly.

66. Promote civil societies and NGOs that provide free legal aid and should also enact laws that regulate legal aid.

67. Take the necessary measures to legislate laws that ensure basic compulsory education for all.

68. Look into ways of amending the law that requires minors to be accompanied by their parents for HIV testing.

69. Include standards like the Robben Island Guidelines in the human rights program of the Botswana Police College and the training of prison officers.

70. Inform the African Commission, in its next Periodic Report, of the steps it has taken to address the areas of concern, as well as how it has implemented the recommendations in this Concluding Observations.

Adopted at the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held from 12 to 26 May 2010, Banjul, The Gambia.

The first part of the document contains an introduction to the History, Geography, Population, Economy, Constitutional structure and Administrative structure of Botswana. The second part contains an overview of the implementation of the Charter, Article by Article.

With regard to the compilation of the document, it is stated that "The Office of the President is responsible for coordinating an inter-ministerial effort towards the preparation of Botswana's Initial Report to be submitted to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. The report was prepared by an inter-ministerial draft committee comprising of representation from the Office of the President, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Attorney General's Office, Ministry of Local Government, and Ministry of Education. The draft had been brought before the stakeholder consultative meeting on the 9th and 10th of October 2008. The meeting attracted delegates from a wide spectrum of the Civic Society, Non-Governmental Organisations and Institutions, Government departments and ministries."


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