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SADC Parliamentary Forum

Website URL: http://www.sadcpf.org

Media Statement SADC Parliamentary Forum Statement on Travel Bans

WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA: Sunday, 28 November 2021 The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum is cognisant that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing worldwide fears and tensions, especially with the upsurge of new virus variants.

While public health remains a  priority,  the  Forum considers that there is a  need to rely at all times on verified scientific and empirical data, such as those shared by the World Health Organisation (WHO), before imposing travel bans that may seem unjust or harsh for some countries. The need for international cooperation to share information buttresses the recent action of the SADC Group at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held from the 26th-30th November 2021 in  Madrid, Spain, which called for greater equality in the procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

This echoes the reflection made that nobody is safe until everybody is safe from Covid-19. Indeed, if vaccine equality was in place, the virus may have been long overwhelmed instead of mutating into more threatening variants in some countries.

The IPU General Debate unanimously debated this issue as an emergency Item, where all Parliaments of the world gathered. There is no doubt that policymakers, officials, as well as Parliamentarians from the SADC region are engaging counterparts to react to the travel ban and to find solutions for safe travel.

It is imperative that remedial measures be found, especially bearing in mind the human rights of travellers who are stalled in foreign destinations pending the re-opening of the flight routes back home. Perhaps the most important question currently is which vaccine would respond best to the new variants, and if this information is known, vaccine deployment strategies must be engaged to respond accordingly.

Travel bans are never favourable to the economy, whether it is the economy of the imposing country or one of the affected country. Travel bans are also devastating to airline companies who are struggling to stay afloat and to rebuild after almost 2 years of travel slowdown.

It is thus important for bans to be imposed only based on verified and reliable information that has been preferably endorsed by the WHO.


For scheduling media interviews with the SADC Parliamentary  Forum Secretary General, Ms Boemo M SEKGOMA please contact:
Modise Kabeli on Mobile: +27817159969 or Email: or

Comunicado De Imprensa Declaração Do Fórum Parlamentar Da SADC Sobre As Proibições De Viagens

WINDHOEK, NAMÍBIA: Domingo, 28 de Novembro de 2021 O Fórum Parlamentar da Comunidade de Desenvolvimento da África Austral tem consciência de que a pandemia de Covid-19 está a causar receios e tensões, sobretudo com a recrudescência de novas variantes do vírus.

Embora a saúde pública continue a ser uma prioridade, o Fórum considera que é preciso confiar sempre em dados científicos e empíricos comprovados, tais como os que são emitidos pela Organização Mundial da Saúde (OMS), antes de se impor proibições de viajar que possam parecer injustas ou severas para alguns países. A necessidade da cooperação internacional na partilha de informação reforça a recente medida tomada pelo Grupo dos Países da SADC na Assembleia da União Interparlamentar (UIP) realizada de 26 a 30 de Novembro de 2021 em Madrid, Espanha, que apelou para maior igualdade na aquisição e distribuição de vacinas de Covid-19.

O referido apelo reitera a reflexão feita de que ninguém é seguro até que todos sejam protegidos contra a Covid-19. De facto, se houvesse igualdade perante as vacinas, o vírus poderia há muito ter sido submergido em vez de continuar a fazer mutações para variantes perigosas em alguns países.

O debate da Assembleia Geral da UIP, que reuniu todos os Parlamentos do mundo, considerou por unanimidade esta questão como um ponto de emergência. É indiscutível que os formuladores de políticas, funcionários, bem como os parlamentares da região da SADC estão a interagir com os seus homólogos para reagir à proibição de viajar e procurar soluções para viagens seguras.

É imperioso que sejam encontradas medidas de reparação, sobretudo tendo em consideração os direitos humanos dos viajantes que estão encalhados em paragens no estrangeiro até que voltem a ser abertas rotas de vôos de retorno para os seus países. Talvez a pergunta mais importante neste momento seja a de saber qual é a vacina que oferece a melhor resposta às novas variantes, e se existe um conhecimento desta informação, devem ser desdobradas estratégias vacinais visando dar a devida resposta.

As proibições de viagem nunca favorecem a economia, quer seja a economia do país que as impõe, quer a do país afectado. As proibições de viajar têm também um efeito devastador para as companhias aéreas que estão em apuros para se manterem à tona e se reconstruírem depois de quase 2 anos de abrandamento de deslocações.

Importa, portanto que as proibições sejam apenas impostas com base em informações verificadas e fiáveis que tenham de preferência sido homologadas pela OMS.

Para o agendamento de entrevistas pelos órgãos da comunicação social com a Secretária-geral do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC, Sra. Boemo M. SEKGOMA, favor entrar em contacto com: Modise Kabeli, pelo terminal telefónico: +27817159969 ou pelo e-mail: or

Communiqué De Presse Communiqué Du Forum Parlementaire De La SADC Sur Les Interdictions De Voyager

WINDHOEK, NAMIBIE : dimanche 28 novembre 2021 Le Forum parlementaire de la Communauté de développement de l’Afrique  australe  est  conscient  que  la  pandémie  de  Covid- 19 suscite des craintes et des tensions dans le monde entier, notamment dans le contexte de l’apparition de nouveaux variants du virus.

Si la santé publique demeure une priorité, le Forum considère qu’il convient en toutes circonstances de se fier à des données scientifiques et empiriques vérifiées, telles celles qui sont diffusées par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), avant d’imposer des interdictions de voyager qui peuvent sembler injustes ou brutales à certains pays. L’affirmation de la nécessité d’une coopération internationale pour le partage d’informations conforte l’action récente du Groupe de la SADC lors de l’Assemblée de l’Union interparlementaire (UIP) qui s’est tenue du 26 au 30 novembre 2021 à Madrid, en Espagne, qui a appelé à plus d’égalité eu égard à l’achat et à la distribution de vaccins contre la Covid-19.

Cette position fait écho à l’idée selon laquelle personne n’est à l’abri de la Covid-19 tant que tous ne sont pas à l’abri de celle-ci. En effet, si l’égalité vaccinale était effective, le virus aurait pu être vaincu depuis longtemps au lieu de muter sous la forme de variants plus menaçants dans certains pays.

Le Débat général de l’UIP a porté à l’unanimité sur cette question envisagée comme un point d’urgence à l’occasion de cet événement qui a  rassemblé  tous  les  parlements  du  monde.  Il  ne fait aucun doute que les décideurs politiques, les responsables, ainsi que les parlementaires de la région de la SADC sont en train de mobiliser leurs homologues pour réagir à l’interdiction de voyager et trouver des solutions permettant de voyager en toute sécurité.

Il est indispensable que des mesures correctives soient trouvées, surtout en prenant en considération les droits humains de voyageurs qui sont bloqués dans des pays étrangers en attendant la reprise des liaisons aériennes pour pouvoir retourner chez eux. La question qui importe peut-être le plus à l’heure actuelle est de savoir quel vaccin permettrait de lutter le plus efficacement contre les nouveaux variants et, si cette information est connue, les stratégies pour le déploiement des vaccins doivent être appliquées pour riposter en conséquence.

Les interdictions de voyager ne sont jamais favorables à l’économie, qu’il s’agisse de l’économie      du pays qui impose l’interdiction ou de  celle du  pays  qui la  subit. Les  interdictions  de voyager ont aussi des effets dévastateurs sur les compagnies aériennes qui luttent pour rester à flot et pour se reconstruire après presque 2 ans de diminution du nombre de voyages.

Il est donc important que les interdictions ne soient imposées qu’à condition d’être fondées sur des informations vérifiées et fiables qui, de préférence, ont été approuvées par l’OMS.

Pour programmer des entrevues des médias avec la Secrétaire générale du Forum parlementaire de la SADC, Mme Boemo M. Sekgoma, veuillez contacter : Modise Kabeli sur le numéro de portable +27817159969 ou par courriel sur ou

JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH AFRICA, Friday 12 November 2021 – The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) Standing Committees and the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus are meeting in Johannesburg on 15 to 17 November to review and validate the draft SADC Model Law on Gender Based Violence (GBV Model Law). 

The objectives of the three-day session are to comprehensively review and validate the draft GBV Model law clause-by-clause to ensure that it contains all the legal principles, guidelines and obligations that are stipulated in the regional and international agreements; and ensure that when finalised the Model Law is acceptable, enforceable and flexible so that it can be adopted or adapted. 

Details of the meetings are as follows: 

Date: Monday, 15 to Wednesday, 17 November 2021 

Venue: Premier Hotel OR Tambo, 73 Gladiator Street, Rhodesfield, Kempton Park, South Africa 

Time: 09:30 to 16:00 Harare/Pretoria Time. 

MEDIA ACCESS: Meetings of the SADC-PF are open to the media and journalists who are interested in covering them must register on the following link: 

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEud-2gqj4tE9PHS6uKfF5U-rwlsBvKVGEH

The meetings will be streamed live on the SADC-PF social media platforms on the links below and also broadcast live (or recorded for later broadcast) on DSTV Channel 408: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sadcpf

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sadcpf

YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCa0QZWjuXVxer_vm637pBmQ

ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM 

Enquiries: Modise Kabeli +27 81 715 9969 or 

 

Programme

WINDHOEK-NAMIBIA, Monday 11 October 2021 – Standing Committees of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) are scheduled to hold virtual statutory meetings from the 8th until the 19th of October 2021. The Standing Committee meetings are being held ahead of the 50th Plenary Assembly Session to be hosted by the Parliament of Lesotho in December, where each Committee will table its report. 

Matters scheduled for discussion during this over-a-week long programme includes consideration of a scorecard to monitor Model Laws, enhancing the role of Parliament in promoting direct investment, the role of Parliaments in water resource management in the SADC region and strengthening Parliament’s role in conflict prevention and management, amongst others. 

Today, 11 October at 09:30, the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment chaired by Hon. Anele Ndebele, from Zimbabwe, is scheduled to deliberate on “Enhancing the Role of Parliament in Promoting Domestic and Foreign Direct Investment.” To join the meeting follow the Zoom Registration Link here.

On Tuesday, 12 October, the Standing Committee on the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FARN), chaired by Hon. Tumba, is scheduled todeliberate on the role of Parliaments in Water Resource  Management in the SADC RegionTo join the meeting follow the Zoom Registration Link here.

On Wednesday, 13 October, the Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights, chaired by Hon. Jeronima Agostihno, from Mozambique, will hold its meeting under the theme: “Peace, Security and Conflict Trends in the SADC Region: Strengthening Parliament’s Role in Conflict Prevention and ManagementTo join the meeting follow the Zoom Registration Link here. 

On Thursday, 14 October, the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development, chaired by Hon. Peete Peete Ramoqai – from Lesotho, will meet under the theme: “Enhancing Parliaments’ Response in the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls during Pandemics.” To join the meeting follow the Zoom Registration Link here.

On Friday, 15 October the Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes, chaired by Hon. Bertha Ndebele, from Malawi, is scheduled to discuss the role of Parliamentarians in advancing CSE in the region.  To join the meeting follow the Zoom Registration Link here.

On Monday, 18 October a Joint Session of the SADC-PF Standing Committees and the RWPC is scheduled to sit. While on Tuesday, 19 October, the RWPC will meet to deliberate on various cross cutting issues of regional concern. 

ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM 

MEDIA ACCESS: Meetings of the SADC-PF are open to the media and journalists who are interested in covering them must register on the following link to be added to a SADC-PF Accredited Media WhatsApp group where information on events of the Forum are regularly shared with the media: 

https://chat.whatsapp.com/Kj519Su3Py04YY8PW1t1Xy

The meeting will be broadcast live on DSTV Channel 408 and also streamed live on the SADC-PF social media platforms on the links below: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sadcpf

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sadcpf

YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCa0QZWjuXVxer_vm637pBmQ

ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM 

Enquiries: Modise Kabeli +27 81 715 9969 or 

JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH AFRICA, Friday 12 November 2021 – The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) Standing Committees and the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus are meeting in Johannesburg on 15 to 17 November to review and validate the draft SADC Model Law on Gender Based Violence (GBV Model Law). 

The objectives of the three-day session are to comprehensively review and validate the draft GBV Model law clause-by-clause to ensure that it contains all the legal principles, guidelines and obligations that are stipulated in the regional and international agreements; and ensure that when finalised the Model Law is acceptable, enforceable and flexible so that it can be adopted or adapted. 

Details of the meetings are as follows: 

Date: Monday, 15 to Wednesday, 17 November 2021 

Venue: Premier Hotel OR Tambo, 73 Gladiator Street, Rhodesfield, Kempton Park, South Africa 

Time: 09:30 to 16:00 Harare/Pretoria Time. 

 

MEDIA ACCESS: Meetings of the SADC-PF are open to the media and journalists who are interested in covering them must register on the following link: 

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEud-2gqj4tE9PHS6uKfF5U-rwlsBvKVGEH

The meetings will be streamed live on the SADC-PF social media platforms on the links below and also broadcast live (or recorded for later broadcast) on DSTV Channel 408: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sadcpf

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sadcpf

YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCa0QZWjuXVxer_vm637pBmQ

ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM 

Enquiries: Modise Kabeli +27 81 715 9969 or 

This notice serves to invite all SADC PF Standing Committee Members and RWPC to a Zoom Meeting on Technical Round Table to Review a Continental Study on Enhancing Effectiveness of Parliaments in Africa During Crisis: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The objective of this meeting is to share experiences from Covid-19 and proffer adaptable recommendations and strategies for sustaining parliamentary effectiveness during crises.

When: Monday, 8th November 2021 from 11:00 AM to 14:00 Johannesburg Time.

Please register in advance for the meeting on this link:

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUod-GgpzMvHdS6xESj6t190OILMR-NZmSd

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Contact Paulina for inquiries: email: .

Thank you.

 

You are invited to a Regional Zoom meeting of the SADC PF Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programs (HSD&SP) to be held under the theme “THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENTARIANS IN ADVANCING THE RIGHTS TO BODILY AUTONOMY AND INTEGRITY FOR SRHR IN SADC”

When: Thursday, 8th July 2021 from 09h30 AM to 11h45 Johannesburg Time.

Please register in advance for the meeting on this link:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkf-yuqDMiG9UjZN02fzP97sPZtzhhDHsj

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Contact Paulina for inquiries: email: .

Thank you.

09:30 AM TO 11:45 AM CAT

 

“THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENTARIANS IN ADVANCING THE RIGHTS TO BODILY AUTONOMY AND INTEGRITY FOR SRHR IN SADC”

 

1.0    BACKGROUND

 

ARASA and the SADC-PF have a long-standing and effective collaboration, which has focused on supporting legislators in the SADC region to fulfil their role in addressing key and emerging HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Health and human rights challenges. This has included the development of the Resource Manual for SADC Parliamentarians on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV and Governance, adoption of the SADC-PF Key Populations Minimum Standards in 2018, the adoption of the motion on the criminalisation of HIV transmission, exposure and non-disclosuree and the adoption of Plenary Assembly Declaration to implement the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Resolution 60/2 ‘Women, the Girl Child and HIV and AIDS’ in 2017.

Over the past decade, there has been notable progress in improving Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) across Southern Africa, including in regional normative standards such as the SADC Regional Strategy on SRHR (2019-2030). However, there have also been challenges and failures in improving SRHR, which have limited progress towards achieving the SDGs and other global commitments. In particular, systematic sexual and reproductive rights violations, especially against women and Key Populations (KPs), persist across Southern Africa and are often deeply embedded in laws, policies, the economy, social norms and values. In some countries, these violations are escalating.

These include laws that restrict women’s and adolescents' access to health services by requiring third-party authorisation, laws that require service providers to report personal information, laws that criminalise same-sex relationships and sex work, and criminal laws that prohibit provision of and access to abortion services. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex and other non-conforming individuals (LGBTI+) persons, sex workers, people who use drugs, people living with disabilities, women, adolescent girls, and young women face some of the harshest impacts of these punitive laws, policies and practices, entrenched in societal behaviour and attitudes. In particular, new waves of conservatism and fundamentalism that amplify state-sponsored violence and criminalisation and undermine individual agency have severe implications for the right to health and for responses to health.

 

2.0    BODILY AUTONOMY AND INTEGRITY (BAI)

 

ARASA identifies the protection and promotion of the rights to Bodily Autonomy and Integrity (BAI) as key to reducing inequality, especially pertaining to gender, and to promote health, dignity, and wellbeing for all in southern Africa. Using BAI as an entry point creates new and exciting opportunities in advancing SRHR. There are a diverse range of BAI issues that are of importance across southern and east Africa and span from access to safe abortions, sexual orientation and gender identity and issues related to adolescent SRHR. However, the framing of BAI also raises a number of challenges and has sometimes been employed to further a conservative and socially repressive agenda such as advocating against vaccinations and resisting the use of masks in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Parliamentarians are key in the advancement and domestication of the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity in the context of SRHR as provided for in international and regional human rights norms. Further we believe that the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity are core principles that can contribute to the formulation of human rights-based approaches to regional integration.

3.0    OBJECTIVES OF THE SESSION

 

  • Explore opportunities for, and challenges to, protection of the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity, as part of a complex and intersectional challenge to SRHR in southern and east Africa;
  • Identify key regional policy priorities for protection of the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and how the international mechanisms can be leveraged to advance these rights.
  • Facilitate the sharing of experiences and lessons learnt in advocating for the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity with a focus on elimination of stigma and discrimination on the basis of SOGI, HIV prevention, access to safe abortions and the integration of comprehensive SRHR services and programming into UHC in southern Africa; and
  • Explore capacity strengthening needs regarding the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity and what types of resource materials may address these needs.

4.0    AGENDA OF THE COMMITTEE SESSION

The agenda of the Committee session will be as follows:

  • Welcoming Remarks by the Chairperson of the HSDSP, Hon. Bertha Ndebele (Malawi);
  • Credentials of Delegates and Apologies;
  • Adoption of the draft Agenda;
  • Consideration of Minutes of proceedings of the previous meeting of the HSDSP Committee;
  • Approval of Minutes of proceedings of the previous meeting of the HSDSP Committee;
  • Introduction to BAI and on how parliamentarians in the SADC region can use the principle of BAI to advance SRHR
  • Sharing of experiences on how Parliamentarians are working with religious and cultural institutions and their constituencies to uproot norms that deny the rights to BAI particularly the rights to safe abortions and key populations;
  • Any other Business;
  • Closing remarks and vote of thanks by Chairperson

5.0    VENUE AND PARTICIPATION

The Meeting will be open to all Members of the SADC PF Standing Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes. It will also be open to SRHR Researchers and partners and will take place virtually on Zoom in the three official languages of SADC PF, namely English, French and Portuguese.

 

 


 

SESSION OF THE HUMAN AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND SPECIAL PROGRAMMES COMMITTEE VIRTUAL MEETING

 

8th JULY 2021

PROGRAMME

 

 

Time

Activity

09:30 –

09:40

Registration of participants by the online platform

 

Credentials of Delegates and apologies

 

Facilitator: Mr Dennis Gondwe, Committee Secretary, SADC-PF

09:45 – 10:00

Welcoming Remarks by the Chairperson of the HSDSP Committee:

Hon. Bertha Ndebele, Parliament of Malawi

 

10:00 – 10:05

Item 3: Adoption of the draft Agenda

10:05 – 10:15

 

Item 4:  Consideration of the Minutes of the previous meeting of the HSDSP Committee

Item 5: Approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting of the HSDSP Committee

 

Facilitator: Hon Bertha Ndebele, Chairperson

10:15 – 11:00

Item 6: Introduction to BAI and on how parliamentarians in the SADC region can use the principle of BAI to advance SRHR

 

Presenter: ARASA

11:00 – 11:20

 

Item 7: Sharing of experiences on how parliamentarians are working with religious and cultural institutions and their constituents to uproot norms that deny the rights to BAI particularly the rights to safe abortion and key populations

 

Plenary facilitated by ARASA

 

11:20 – 11:30

Item 8: ANY OTHER BUSINESS

11:30 – 11:45

Closing remarks and vote of thanks by Chairperson

 

About Us

The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) was established in 1997 in accordance with Article 9 (2) of the SADC Treaty as an autonomous institution of SADC It is a regional inter-parliamentary body composed of Thirteen (14) parliaments representing over 3500 parliamentarians in the SADC region. Read More

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