Lesotho Lesotho: Promotion Mission, 2012

Dates:3 - 7 September 2012
Session:54th Ordinary Session
22 October - 5 November 2013. Banjul, Gambia
Commissioner: Faith Pansy Tlakula , Med S.K. Kaggwa

This is the second promotion mission undertaken in Lesotho, at the invitation of the Government, from 3 to 7 September 2012. It was undertaken by Commissioners Faith Pansy Tlakula and Med. S. Kaggwa. The report contains a description of the background of the mission, followed by an account of the various meetings held with government representatives, civil society organisations and other actors involved in the protection and promotion of human rights in Lesotho. It contains Observations and analysis as well as a series of recommendations:

General

  1. To ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR on the Abolition of the Death Penalty; and the OPCAT;
  2. To make a Declaration pursuant to Article 34(6) of the Court Protocol, to allow individuals and NGOs access to the African Court;
  3. To strengthen the independence of the IEC and set up an Anti-Corruption Commission;
  4. To expedite the adoption of the Anti-Corruption Bill to deal with the challenges of eliminating corruption;
  5. To improve and regularize laws governing the incumbency factor and party funding during elections and establish enforcement mechanisms;
  6. To implement all the recommendations made by the Commission in its Concluding Observations of Lesotho’s 2001 initial Periodic Report and on the Promotion Mission to Lesotho in September 2006;
  7. To submit its outstanding Reports under Article 62 of the African Charter, and encourage the involvement of CSOs in the compilation of its Reports;
  8. To formulate strategies of domesticating instruments that have been ratifed by Lesotho so as to ensure effective protection of human rights for its population;
  9. To accelerate the process of appointing members of the PCA;
  10. To speed up the establishment of a NHRC in accordance with the Paris Principles so as to protect and promote human rights in the country;
  11. To work in collaboration with NGOs and CSOs in the promotion and protection of human rights in Lesotho;
  12. To pass a law that will criminalise torture;
  13. To ensure that the right to education of child herders is not compromised.

Freedom of Expression and Access to Information

  1. To repeal criminal defamation, insult laws, secrecy laws and support the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa in her campaign to decriminalize defamation and insult laws on the continent;
  2. To expedite the adoption of the draft Media Policy;
  3. To prioritize the adoption of an Access to Information Law on its reform Agenda and transform the state broadcaster into a public broadcaster with an independent board;
  4. To adopt legislation to protect the rights of whistleblowers;
  5. To provide facilities and institutions for training journalists and media practitioners. 

Prisons

  1. To expedite the renovation of Wing B of the Maseru Central Prison;
  2. To expedite other renovations taking place in other prisons in the countryside
  3. To establish rehabilitation and reintegration centres for detainees and former detainees in Lesotho
  4. To improve the conditions of detention with respect to nutrition, heating systems in all the prisons and correctional centres as well as education for juvenile offenders. 

Women and Children

  1. To revise its position on citizenship rights in Lesotho to enable women to pass citizenship to their children;
  2. To review laws governing inheritance and succession to accommodate women and girls
  3. To lift or withdraw its reservations on succession and chieftaincy rights made during ratifcation of CEDAW;
  4. To review its maternity laws related to women in textile industries to be on the same pedestal with women in other works of life;
  5. To ensure representation and participation of women at local and government levels
  6. To ensure gender equality in Parliament;
  7. To protect women and children from gender-based violence and child abuse, while ensuring investigation and punishment in reported cases. 

PWDs

  1. To provide training to magistrates and the judiciary in general on issues/cases related to PWDs and how to deal with them;
  2. To adopt national laws which take into account the special needs of PWDs and involve them in the drafting of such laws;
  3. To ensure the use of sign language on national television news reporting. 

The Death Penalty

  1. To remove the death penalty from its Statute Books;
  2. Parliament to pass a formal/official Resolution to observe the moratorium pending abolition of the death penalty. 

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