Empowering the San

Empowering the San: Legal Capacity building for Human Rights

We launched a new project called “Empowering the SAN: Legal Capacity Building for Access to Human Rights” in November 2023
It aims to empower the SAN communities with the necessary tools to navigate the complex legal landscape and protect their rights. The project will train paralegals from within the SAN communities to provide essential support, advice and guidance to their fellow community members. We will also introduce a mobile clinic to provide legal services to SAN communities in remote areas.
The LAC is committed to working with stakeholders and civil society organizations to amplify the SAN communities’ voices and advocate for their rights.
We believe that this project is not just about legal capacity building, but also a testament to its commitment to social justice, equality and respect for human rights.
Speeches made:
Ana-Beatriz Martins – Ambassador, EU Delegation to Namibia
Beverly C Silas-!Garas – EU Youth Sounding Board Member
Corinna van Wyk – Co-ordinator LEAD at LAC

Press release on 24 June 2024 kickstarting the project

The EU-funded project “Empowering the San: Legal Capacity Building for Human Rights” has officially been activated following a successful two-day inception workshop held from 19 – 20 June 2024, in Windhoek. This project is aimed at strengthening the rights and legal capacities of San communities across Namibia.

The workshop was attended by an esteemed gathering of Chiefs, San people from across Namibia, San traditional and community leaders, government officials, civil society organizations, and dedicated rights activists, all united in their commitment to supporting and advancing this crucial project. The event served as a fundamental platform for fostering collaboration, sharing insights, outlining project objectives and collective effort required to address the challenges faced by the San people.

This three (3) year project implemented by the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) will focus on empowering the San communities by providing them with the necessary legal tools and knowledge to assert their rights and engage more effectively with legal and governmental institutions. The European Union has generously allocated approximately NAD 6.5 million towards this noble cause, highlighting their dedication to human rights and social justice.

Director of the Legal Assistance Centre, Ms Toni Hancox, emphasized the critical importance of the project in addressing longstanding challenges faced by San communities in accessing justice and safeguarding their human rights. She underscored the commitment of the LAC to working closely with all stakeholders to achieve tangible outcomes that empower and protect San communities. “This project will focus on providing the tools to claim and access the rights to which the San are entitled. In so doing, it promotes sustainability. It is not for us to ‘give’ rights, but rather that we should provide the tools for the San to ‘claim’ their rights,” Ms Hancox proudly said.

EU Programme Manager, Ms Silke Hofs, emphasised the EU’s resolute support for initiatives that promote human rights and equality in Namibia. She said, “The European Union is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of marginalized people, inclusive development, cultural preservation, and combating discrimination. We believe that through partnerships and collaborative efforts, we can improve the conditions of marginalized people in Namibia – and elsewhere – in the medium to long term.”

Honorable Royal Kao /Ui/o/oo, Deputy Minister of Marginalized Communities, noted the critical role of the Division of Marginalized Communities in advancing Namibia’s vision of inclusivity and leaving no one behind, as championed by the late President. Honorable Kao /Ui/o/oo emphasized the fundamental role that civil society organizations and indigenous groups play in the realization of development strategies for Indigenous Peoples. He underscored that civil society is ideally positioned to be independent, critical, transparent, and radical in driving sustainable change with the involvement of multiple stakeholders.

Key outcomes of the workshop included commitment towards establishment of a framework for ongoing collaboration among stakeholders, the sharpening the identified priority areas for intervention, and providing further inputs and guidance on the project approaches to guide project implementation over the coming months and years. Additionally, the workshop provided and discussed a number of recommendations, to be implemented in the short to medium term, while recognizing that some actions are to be implemented over the long-term.

More in the media:

EU, LAC collaborate to empower San communities – The European Union (EU) has allocated N$6 million for a three-year project aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of the San communities in Namibia. The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), which will be implementing the project, held a two-day workshop in Windhoek last week, marking the beginning of the project to advance the rights and empowerment of San communities. https://neweralive.na/posts/eu-lac-collaborate-to-empower-san-communities

EU-funded project launched to boost legal rights and capacity – An EU-funded project “Empowering the San: Legal Capacity Building for Human Rights” was officially launched following a successful two-day workshop. This initiative aims to strengthen the legal rights and capacities of San communities across Namibia, marking a significant step towards social justice and inclusivity. https://www.namibian.com.na/eu-funded-project-launched-to-boost-legal-rights-and-capacity/

EU-Funded project promotes and protects the rights of marginalized San communities – The European Union’s initiative, “Empowering the San: Legal Capacity Building for Human Rights,” has been officially launched following a successful inception workshop held in Windhoek from 19 to 20 June. This significant project aims to bolster the rights and legal capabilities of San communities across the country. https://economist.com.na/88924/general-news/eu-funded-project-promotes-and-protects-the-rights-of-marginalized-san-communities/

EU-funded project promotes and protects the rights of the marginalized San communities – The EU-funded project “Empowering the San: Legal Capacity Building for Human Rights” has officially been activated following a successful two-day inception workshop held from 19 – 20 June 2024, in Windhoek. This project is aimed at strengthening the rights and legal capacities of San communities across Namibia. https://futuremedianews.com.na/2024/06/24/eu-funded-project-promotes-and-protects-the-rights-of-the-marginalized-san-communities/

EU-funded project promotes and protects the rights of the marginalized San communities – THE EU-funded project “Empowering the San: Legal Capacity Building for Human Rights” has officially been activated following a successful two-day inception workshop held from 19 – 20 June 2024, in Windhoek. This project aims to strengthen the rights and legal capacities of San communities across Namibia. https://www.facebook.com/share/p/Pi74ZWjv4eiBtESi/