Legal Assistance Centre-Namibia
Legal Assistance Centre
Factsheets on the draft bill

Child Care & Protection Act

In 2009, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare embarked on an extensive consultation process to guide the revision of the Child Care and Protection Bill with technical assistance and support from UNICEF and the Legal Assistance Centre.

The Bill, first drafted in 1994 and revised several times since then, is a vital piece of legislation intended to replace the outdated Children’s Act 33 of 1960. Law reform in this area is essential if children in Namibia are to receive the care and protection they so desperately need.

The Bill addresses a number of key areas including children’s courts, early intervention services, procedures for removing endangered children from the home, foster care, adoption, child trafficking, child‐headed households and many more issues. In all of these areas, there is a critical need to ensure that the rights of children in Namibia are protected and upheld.

To ensure that the Bill would be in the best possible form before being tabled in Parliament, in 2009 the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare ran a multi‐faceted multi‐media project to consult with stakeholders and the public on the Bill’s contents.

The objectives of this process were as follows:

a) to refine the Bill, which was at that stage still in rough draft form, so as to ensure its appropriateness to the Namibian situation;

b) to draw on the experience of other African countries with recent law reforms on similar issues, particularly South Africa which shares a common legal history with Namibia on children’s rights;

c) to raise the level of public awareness of the forthcoming law and provide opportunities for public input, which will advance overall awareness and understanding of children’s rights in Namibia; and

d) to consult service providers and other stakeholders on various thematic topics covered in the draft law, to ensure that the proposals for law reform would be appropriate and feasible to implement in practice.

The Legal Assistance Centre provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare throughout this process. The project was supported by UNICEF and guided by a Technical Working Group which met regularly during 2009.

Learn more about what's included in this Bill in these Fact Sheets.

Learn more about what's included in the Bill in these articles written for the OYO magazine

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