WINDHOEK-NAMIBIA, Monday 18 October 2021 – The Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus will tomorrow, Tuesday 19 October 2021, hold a virtual meeting on empowering women focusing on the elimination of gender inequality and discrimination in the workplace, amongst others.
The theme of the meeting is “Empowering Women in a Sustainable, Industry-Focused Workforce in SADC: A Focus on Social Protection.” Members of the Committee will receive presentations from the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Social Protection Specialist, Kroum Markov, the ILO’s Angola- based Social Protection Technical Officer, Denise Monteiro, and the United Nations Development’s Angola-based Economist, Lorenzo Mancini.
Details of the meeting are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, 19th October 2021
Time: 10:00 to 16:00 Harare/Pretoria Time.
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:
Register to join the meeting here:
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:
ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
Declaração Da Secretária-Geral Do Fórum Parlamentar Da SADC No Dia Internacional Da Rapariga 11 De Outubro De 202111 Oct 2021 Written by SADC Parliamentary Forum
É com grande prazer que divulgo esta declaração aos augustos Parlamentos e parceiros do Fórum, tendo em vista a celebração do Dia Internacional da Rapariga a 11 de Outubro de 2021.
O Fórum Parlamentar da SADC associa-se plenamente à Resolução 66/170 da Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas para comemorar este dia com vista a reconhecer os direitos das raparigas e atender aos desafios únicos com que são confrontadas em África e em todo o mundo. Um dos objectivos centrais do Fórum é proporcionar igualdade de oportunidades às raparigas na África Austral, de modo a que progridam no plano da educação, bem como na implementação de todos os outros direitos humanos, tal como acontece com os rapazes, e sem qualquer tipo de discriminação.
A Lei Modelo da SADC sobre o Casamento Infantil e o Modelo de Supervisão Sensível ao Género (GROM) são ilustrações não exaustivas das várias iniciativas tomadas pelo Fórum Parlamentar da SADC para capacitar as raparigas através de iniciativas parlamentares. Com o advento da Comissão de Supervisão das Leis Modelo Parlamentares Regionais (RPMLOC), que é o órgão específico do Fórum para monitorizar a Lei Modelo da SADC sobre o Casamento Infantil, o Fórum está prestes a dar início a um acompanhamento atento através de tabelas de desempenho parlamentar com o objectivo global de melhorar a situação e a qualidade de vida das raparigas em toda a SADC. A este respeito, o Fórum convida os seus parceiros de longa data a continuar a trabalhar com o Fórum com vista a interagir com sucesso com a RPMLOC e a fazer convergir os seus processos em benefício final das raparigas da região.
O Fórum também louva o tema da "Geração Digital". A Nossa Geração" escolhido em 2021 para comemorar este importante dia, uma vez que, de facto, as raparigas têm infinitas potencialidades a explorar a partir das possibilidades digitais que abarcam a terceira década do novo milénio. O mundo digital pode agir como catalisador para servir as nobres aspirações das raparigas. De facto, as raparigas na SADC representam o futuro da região: podem ser profissionais de sucesso, académicas brilhantes, mães carinhosas, inovadoras geniais na indústria, investidoras estratégicas, e muito mais. Seja qual for o caminho que escolherem, o Fórum compromete-se a acompanhá-las na sua jornada rumo à prosperidade.
Feliz Dia Internacional da Rapariga de 2021!
Sra. B. Sekgoma, Secretária-Geral
Fórum Parlamentar da SADC
11 de Outubro de 2021
Statement from the Secretary General of the SADC-PF on the International Day Of The Girl Child 11th October 202111 Oct 2021 Written by SADC Parliamentary Forum
It is with boundless pleasure that I release this statement to the Forum’s august Member Parliaments and partners in view of celebrating the International Day of Girl Child on this 11th October 2021.
The Forum fully associates itself with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/170 to commemorate this day in view of recognising girls’ rights and addressing the unique challenges that they face in Africa and around the world. One of the core objectives of the SADC-PF is give equal chances and opportunities to girl children in Southern Africa such that they progress in education as well as in the implementation of all other human rights, at par with boys, and without discrimination of any kind.
The SADC Model Law on Child Marriage and the Gender Responsive Oversight Model (GROM) are non-exhaustive illustrations of the several initiatives taken by the SADC-PF to empower girl children through parliamentary initiatives. With the advent of the Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee (RPMLOC), which is the Forum’s dedicated organ for monitoring the SADC Model Law on Child Marriage, the Forum is about to embark on close monitoring through parliamentary scorecards with the overarching objective of improving the situation and quality of life of girl children across SADC. In this respect, the Forum invites its longstanding partners to continue engaging the Forum in view of successfully interacting with the RPMLOC and aligning its processes for the ultimate benefit of girl children of the region.
The Forum also commends the theme of the “Digital Generation. Our Generation” chosen in 2021 to commemorate this august day as indeed girl children have endless potentials to tap from the digital possibilities that embrace the third decade of the new millennium. The digital world can act as a catalyst to serve the noble aspirations of girl children. Indeed, girl children in SADC constitute the future of the region: they can be successful professionals, brilliant academics, loving mothers, ingenious innovators in industry, strategic investors, and so much more. Whichever path they will choose, the Forum commits to accompany them in their journey towards prosperity.
Happy International Day of the Girl Child 2021!
Ms B. Sekgoma,Secretary General,
SADC Parliamentary Forum
11th October 2021
Statement by the Secretary General During Stakeholder Consultations For The GBV Model Law – Legal Aid Officials On 8th October 202108 Oct 2021 Written by SADC Parliamentary Forum
Distinguished legal aid officials and participants,
It is with singular pleasure and satisfaction that I welcome you to this landmark Consultative Meeting on the SADC GBV Model Law. As you may be aware, this Consultative Meeting is being held after fruitful consultative meetings with all stakeholders in the legal fraternity – Indeed, the Forum has successfully garnered the views from judges and judicial officers, Magistrates, SADC lawyers and jurists, as well as prosecutors, to cite a few.
The fact that the Forum is today consulting with Legal Aid Officials demonstrates the depth of the Consultations engaged. Indeed, it would have been a missed opportunity not to engage Legal Aid officials who are themselves the custodians and guarantors of access to justice.
- Why is the consultation with Legal Aids Officials important?
It is trite that Legal Aid constitutes a gateway for access to justice for those who are at the bottom of the social ladder and cannot afford to pay court and counsel’s fees. This is compounded with the fact that unreported cases of GBV is often from the most vulnerable segment of society, and thus GBV complainants need to apply for legal aid to be able to adequately seize the court system, especially where civil matters are concerned.
In this respect, protection orders, occupancy orders or tenancy orders which are issued by the Court in the context of GBV offending are all involved with the legal aid process. In addition, in the criminal justice system, depending on the SADC Member State jurisdiction, legal aid can also assist GBV complainants who attend a police station without counsel. In short, legal aid comes at the rescue of those who cannot pay for their own legal fees.
In the context of the GBV Model Law, the Forum wanted to ensure that the Model Law contains sufficient legal aid provisions to assist GBV complainants, victims, or other GBV stakeholders, hence this engagement of paramount importance with you today.
- Legal aid and human rights
Having said the above, I would like to give some insight into the linkages between the Forum’s mandate and the provision of legal aid in SADC Member States.
As you may be aware, the Forum has clear objectives to promote a culture of human rights and to ensure gender equality in accordance with its Strategic Plan (2019-2023). While GBV is a clear infringement of several human rights such as the right to health, physical integrity, and the prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment, access to justice is equally another human right. Access to justice refers to prompt access to the court system through affordable avenues and with limited delay to obtain redress.
Thus, while eradicating GBV and implementing human rights, the Forum needs to consider all relevant human rights comprehensively, through a purposive approach.
At the same time, the Forum as an institutional organ of the SADC stands guided by the SADC Regional Strategy for GBV (2018-2030). The Regional Strategy has earmarked the need for a human rights compliant legal framework for GBV that could assist GBV victims in all SADC Member States.
The initiative of the Forum to prepare and implement the SADC GBV Model Law thus marks the convergence of several imperatives and priorities which have ripened over the years both regionally and at the national level. Additionally, the Model Law is a continuation of commitments taken through the Abuja Declaration, Sustainable Development Goal 5 as well as the AU’s Africa Agenda 2063. The Forum is thus threading on the right path of implementation of human rights and addressing its obstacles when it is weaving the issue of legal aid into the GBV discourse and reflecting same in its flagship Model Law.
- What does the Forum expect from Legal Aid Officials
Distinguished Legal Aid Officials and participants,
Before I end, I wish to share a few pointers to guide today’s session. During this session, you are encouraged to interact openly and frankly with the Legal drafter and the facilitator.
You may wish to consider whether and to what extent should legal aid apply in the realm of GBV, and if it does apply which areas of the Model Law need to be revisited to ensure that legal aid is available to GBV complainants.
Furthermore, there is a need to provide for a means test for legal aid which would give a framework for national jurisdictions to consider. Since the SADC Model Law is a benchmarking legal instrument which will remain as a yardstick for SADC Member Parliaments, specific figures in the means test need not be given. Yet, parameters for legal aid may be considered in view of assisting Member Parliaments in the legislative process to devise a means test. For instance, it is now well known that considering income of an individual alone is not sufficient for legal aid, and that both income and assets are to be considered. Yet, there is a need to ascertain how to consider both income and assets and set parameters for same in a way which is human rights friendly and does not unduly prejudice meritorious applications for legal aid. This balancing exercise would thus be an important consideration for legal aid officials as they consider the provisions of the Model Law and devise a means test that could be used as a broad benchmark.
Having given the above essential pointers, I thank you again for your attendance today and wish you all a pleasant session.
Ms B.Sekgoma, Secretary General,
SADC Parliamentary Forum 8th October 2021
Media Release : SADC-PF Committee Concerned Over Slow Implementation of Child Marriage, HIV/AIDS and Elections Model Laws07 Oct 2021 Written by SADC Parliamentary Forum
WINDHOEK-NAMIBIA, Sunday 11 April 2021 - The Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee (RPMLOC) during its meeting on Friday, raised concern over the slow and in some instances non-implementation of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) Model Laws on Child Marriage, HIV/AIDS and Elections.
About six SADC-PF Standing Committees are holding virtual statutory meetings from the 9th until the 16th of April 2021 in preparation for the 49th Plenary Assembly Session to be hosted by the Parliament of Botswana in June, where each Committee will table its report.
The RPMLOC was established in June 2018 ahead of the 45th SADC-PF Plenary Assembly, with the primary objective of monitoring and evaluating the progress of SADC Members States in domesticating and implementing their regional obligations with regards to SADC-PF Model laws and policies. Friday’s meeting was held under the theme: “Augmenting the enhanced execution of regional obligations by national Parliaments."
Speaking at the RPMLOC meeting the Acting Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Bertha Ndebele, said: “To date it can be said that in tracking implementation there has been slow implementation and in some instances non-implementation of regional and international commitments and this is unsettling as it stalls the regional integration agenda.”
The RPMLOC agreed in its meeting today to focus on the following priorities for 2021:
- to acquaint itself with extent to which the Model Laws on Child Marriages has been domesticated in Zimbabwe; and
- to interface with various stakeholders in Zambia to look into the context in which the country has domesticated Model laws.
“The objective is to assess and document Zambia and Zimbabwe’s progress in domesticating the model laws and report to Plenary. We will use the experience to enhance the Committee Members’ knowledge on progress and strategies for the domestication of Model Laws in transboundary contexts such as border towns,” said Hon Ndebele.
SADC-PF Standing Committee Meetings are continuing until 16 April with the next one happening today (Sunday, 11 April) with the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment chaired by Hon. Anele Ndebele, from Zimbabwe, scheduled to deliberate on enhancing regional economic integration through infrastructure development, focusing specifically on the case of one-stop border posts.
ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
The meetings will also be broadcast live on DSTV Channel 408 and live streamed on the SADC-PF platforms on the links below:
Enquiries: Modise Kabeli +27 81 715 9969
05 October 2021 - A High Court Judge from Malawi, Justice Zione Jane Veronica Ntaba, has urged the legal drafters of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Model Law on Gender Based Violence (GBV Model Law) to ensure that it clearly spells out the parameters of prosecution for femicide.
Justice Ntaba was delivering the keynote address at the virtual consultative meeting of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) and the SADC Member States’ prosecutors on the GBV Model Law yesterday (04 October).
“The Model Law has included a very critical area which several of the SADC jurisdictions have very little legislation on – that is the concept of femicide… The Model Law fails to provide parameters for prosecution institutions in dealing with prioritisation of prosecuting such cases,” said Justice Ntaba adding that the focus of the parameters should be on pre, during and post prosecution.
Justice Ntaba said another issue that needed further examination on the draft was the concept of re-victimisation. “The law needs to address re-victimisation to be beyond access to justice but to be envisaged as an extension of the medical principle – ‘first do no harm.’ That is to be addressed across the GBV continuum of the victim,” she said.
However, Justice Ntaba said she was excited by the purpose of the consultations. “I find the objectives of the consultative meeting exciting and extremely important as the issues you aim to achieve are very fundamental for gender and women’s rights in Africa,” she said.
Dr Linda Naidoo, of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told the meeting that major forms of violence in the SADC region include rape, trafficking in persons and child marriages. “In the SADC region victims generally do not seek legal recourse because of inhibiting factors such as fear of being blamed for breaking up the family, fear of reprisals from the spouse, shame about airing their personal affairs in public and economic dependency.”
Dr Naidoo said “the home is the most dangerous place for a woman. In seven countries 20 percent of 15 to 24 year old females reported sexual violence from an intimate partner, the percentage exceeds 50 percent in many countries.”
SADC-PF Secretary General, Ms Boemo Sekgoma, emphasised the central role played by prosecutors in the fight against GBV as it is “increasingly, being treated not only as a domestic issue which occurs within the confines of the household, or a civil law issue, but as an issue which can have criminal law implications.”
“Prosecutors are important to consider GBV complaints, assess the evidence, filter false complaints from meritorious ones, and proceed in accordance with the law in place to advise for further prosecution and trial. Prosecutors fill the Charge sheets and decide which charge is more appropriate to the offence committed or advise for further enquiries to be conducted by the investigating authorities,” said Ms Sekgoma adding that “prosecutors are thus prominent stakeholders in the fight against GBV as well as for sensitisation initiatives to prevent GBV.”
Facilitating the interaction was Justice Professor Oagile Key Dingake who cautioned the participating prosecutors that not all provisions of the Model Law “will be attractive to all countries. A number of countries will choose provisions that they consider will strengthen their laws, or those that are consistent with their laws.”
UNODC Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, Sven Pfeiffer, delivering his closing remarks yesterday said: “It is imperative that all justice actors take appropriate measures to prevent hardship during the detection, investigation and prosecution process in order to ensure that survivors are treated with dignity and respect, whether they participate in the criminal proceedings or not.”
Pfeiffer said the GBV Model Law “provides an excellent basis from which SADC Member States can reform their crime prevention and criminal justice response systems.”
“In pursuit of this, the promotion and protection of women’s and girls’ human rights should form the basis of the development and implementation of relevant national legislation, policy development and training programs,” he said.
Statement by the Secretary General During Stakeholder Consultations for the GBV Model Law – Prosecutors on 4th October 202104 Oct 2021 Written by SADC Parliamentary Forum
Distinguished prosecutors and participants, Salutations
Guest of Honour, Honourable Justice Zione Jane Veronica Ntaba, Judge of the High Court, Malawi Justice Prof. Oagile Key Dingake, former judge of High Court of Botswana, the Industrial Court of Botswana, the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea.
Marco Moreira De Sa Assuncao Teixeira, UNODC Acting Regional Representative
Linda Naidoo, National Project Officer for Gender based Violence, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southern Africa
Distinguished Prosecutors from SADC Member States. Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with an immense sense of gratitude that I welcome you to this meeting under the auspices of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. As you may be aware, the SADC-PF has been conducting a series of stakeholder consultations for its flagship SADC GBV Model Law. While consultations have been successfully held with SADC lawyers and jurists as well as judicial officers and Line Ministries, it was necessary to engage in consultations to understand and delve further into the prosecutor’s perspective to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Today, we welcome you not only in your capacity as lawyers or police officials who act as prosecutors, but also as representatives of prosecuting agencies across SADC. In this respect, in my capacity as Secretary General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, I wish to start by paying tribute to the august constitutional function of the Office of Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) across the whole SADC region. All around the world, the DPP’s Office stands as a steadfast guardian against arbitrary arrests, unlawful imprisonment and detention by representatives of the Executive, and DPP’s offices thus constitute a pillar of the democratic framework of each SADC nation. It is well-known that the independence of the Office of the DPP lies at the very heart of any healthy democracy.
Since the Vision of the SADC-PF is to act as the Flag- Bearer of Democratisation and Socio-Economic Development for the region, it goes without saying that Offices of the DPP in SADC are valued and esteemed partners to the Forum. We hope to continue to collaborate with Offices of the DPP beyond the adoption of the GBV Model Law and we trust you will act as bridges to consolidate our partnership framework.
- Why is the Forum addressing GBV through a Model Law?
I wish to highlight that the need to address GBV is rectilinear to the Strategic Plan of the Forum. Indeed, according to the Strategic Plan (2019-2023), the Forum is to ensure gender equality and promote a culture of human rights that encompasses the right to physical integrity, the right to health as well as the right to life.
As prosecutors of SADC Member States, I am confident you will concur that human rights cannot thrive in an environment which is beleaguered by GBV. Furthermore, the ambit of GBV literally knows no bounds, with GBV affecting the destitute as well as wealthy individuals, being common at home or in workplaces, in urban or in rural areas alike. In this dominion, the Forum was inclined to consider the SADC Regional Strategy on GBV (2018-2030) and act on its recommendation to have a human rights compliant legal framework to address GBV.
By setting a normative framework through a GBV Model Law, the Forum is thus bringing SADC Member Parliaments several steps closer to the enactment of a robust GBV law that befits international best practices while also bearing in mind the SADC context. Soft law developed in this respect can thus act as a legal catalyst to facilitate the development of binding laws in each SADC country. A SADC Model Law can thus become a trend setter, and act as a template or a baseline for additional research or adaptation to the domestic context. With the SADC Model Law on HIV and Child Marriage, the Forum has already witnessed an upsurge in legal amendments brought to existing laws due to the convenient facility provided by the SADC Model Laws as benchmarking legal instruments. While the SADC Model Law is intended to be a booster at the domestic level, prosecutors present today are invited to continue to request for legal reform for GBV laws to be modernised and aligned with the Model Law and other current human rights instruments.
- Why is the engagement with prosecutors important?
Having said this, I wish to emphasize that prosecutors have a central role to play in the fight against GBV. Increasingly, GBV is being treated not only as a domestic issue which occurs within the confines of the household, or a civil law issue, but as an issue which can have criminal law implications. In that regard, prosecutors are important to consider GBV complaints, assess the evidence, filter false complaints from meritorious ones, and proceed in accordance with the law in place to advise for further prosecution and trial. Prosecutors fill the Charge sheets and decide which charge is more appropriate to the offence committed or advise for further enquiries to be conducted by the investigating authorities. Moreover, Prosecutors are involved in sensitisation campaigns against violence in society, inclusive of GBV. Prosecutors are thus prominent stakeholders in the fight against GBV as well as for sensitisation initiatives to prevent GBV.
- Areas in the Model Law that can interest Prosecutors
Distinguished Prosecutors and participants,
Your engagement today will be centred on the GBV Model Law, in particular on the offences which may be relevant for GBV. It is often said that a law is not a law unless it can be enforced in some binding manner by offence provisions or penalties.
In this respect, you may wish to consider the GBV Model Law from an offence perspective and determine if there are sufficient provisions to deter offending and also punish adequately repeated GBV offending. While the Model Law aims to provide the outline of the GBV offence framework, it will of course be up to the Member State to decide on the length of the proposed sentence and the type of sentence, whether custodial or non-custodial. Still, we would appreciate the wise input of prosecutors in this respect on issues such as proportionality of sentencing and preservation of the chain of custody, to set the GBV Model Law on the right track of implementation.
In addition, prosecutors should consider their respective country situations and advise when criminal law provisions are most relevant for application to domestic GBV situations. Key questions that may be addressed are “ Could GBV be adequately punished by a fine only?” – “When will be the custodial threshold be passed for GBV? That is when does GBV become serious enough to merit imprisonment?”- “ How does Member States reinforce the confidentiality of GBV reporting?” – “Should the divulging of confidential information relating to GBV reporting itself be considered as an offence?” – “Is prosecution always the right approach concerning GBV?”
These are just a flavour of the questions that participants may dwell upon for further engagement with the Legal drafter and facilitators of today’s session.
In addition, Prosecutors are also invited to give their views generally as lawyers on the purview of the Model Law and its responsiveness to the GBV context for the SADC region.
Having made the above remarks, I wish to thank you again for your attendance today, and I wish you all a pleasant session.
Ms Boemo Sekgoma, Secretary General,
SADC Parliamentary Forum 4th October 2021
STATEMENT BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL DURING STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATIONS FOR THE GBV MODEL LAW WITH WORLD, CONTINENTAL AND REGIONAL PARLIAMENTS – ON 30TH SEPTEMBER 202130 Sep 2021 Written by SADC Parliamentary Forum
- Mémounatou Ibrahima, Third Deputy Speaker of the Ecowas Parliament;
- Dr. Anne Itto Leonardo, Chairperson of the East Africa Legislative Assembly Women Caucus;
- Marie Rose Nguini-Effa, President African Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (FPA);
- Mr Galal Nasir, Head of Committee Documentation Research and Library Division at the Pan African Parliament (PAP);
- Ms Bénite Dibateza, Programmes Officer and Network Coordinator for the Network for Women Parliamentarians, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA);
- Ms Brigitte Filion, Consultant, Gender Partnership Programme, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU);
- Citizens of the SADC Region following proceedings on various platforms;
- Members of the Media;
Dear Colleagues and distinguished participants,
It is with immense pleasure that I welcome you to this inter-parliamentary event under the auspices of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. This event is unlike others, because as we discuss the finalisation of the GBV Model Law, we are also reinforcing not only the valued bonds that we share between national Parliaments of Africa and around the world, but also the bonds of solidarity between regional and international parliamentary organisations which stand fiercely as the custodians of parliamentary democracy from a supra-national perspective. Thus today, we are celebrating parliamentarism and inter- parliamentary cooperation in a unique dimension under the umbrella of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. As Secretary General of the SADC-PF, I am honoured to be addressing this diverse audience of distinguished representatives from august organisations all around the world. In this respect, I wish to start by paying a tribute to the noble cause of inter-parliamentary cooperation and by recognising the resilience of inter-parliamentary networks around the world that have staunchly stood the test of time despite operational challenges. Yet, while inter-parliamentary organisations continue to promote stable democracies and the sovereignty and independence of Parliaments worldwide, there is a lot that remains to be done for democracy and human rights to be instilled across the world. I am confident that you will corroborate the Forum’s view that together, we can go further.
- Why is the engagement with inter-parliamentary organisations important?
Having said this, I wish to turn to the mainstay of the today’s theme of discussions which is the SADC Model Law on GBV. It is indeed apposite that inter- parliamentary organisations have a comprehensive say on the SADC Model Law on GBV which is currently in process of finalisation. As you may be aware, the Model Law on GBV entailed a wide calendar of consultations that have been made with several stakeholders from the public and private sectors as well as the judiciary. Inter-parliamentary organisations are peer organisations to the Forum and it was imperative to garner your esteemed insight as a final step before validating and adopting the Model Law.
Moreover, the participation of inter-parliamentary organisations will be quintessential to disseminate the SADC Model Law on GBV within the SADC region and beyond its borders. The SADC Model Law on GBV is not only a Model Law for SADC. Gender-based violence knows no bounds, and is not delimited by territory. GBV is a contemporary human rights issue and it can cause serious human rights violations such as the right to physical integrity, the right to health and the right to life. GBV affects all regions of the world without fail and it preys on the wealthy as well as the poor. At the same time, I am confident that all major inter-parliamentary organisations around the world subscribe to the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, from which have stemmed the ensuing International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the corresponding International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. If we are to believe and uphold the principles laid down in international conventions, then GBV is a problem for all without distinction. In this respect, Member States have a duty to prevent their citizens from suffering inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment. If we are to believe and uphold the principles laid down in international conventions, then GBV is a problem for all without distinction.
From this perspective, the SADC Model Law on GBV is thus a Model Law that can be utilised for benchmarking purposes by all inter-parliamentary organisations around the world, and by extension all corresponding national Member Parliaments. While the SADC Model Law on GBV will remain as a benchmark and guiding reference, the Model Law may be adapted to frame legal frameworks on GBV at both the regional and domestic level. As observed with other Model Laws developed by the Forum, Model Laws have the potential of exerting ripple effects and influencing regions and people beyond the geographical scope of the SADC. I thus invite you to consider the session of today as serendipitous, and as a stepping stone towards further collaborative opportunities. Inter-parliamentary organisations can thus act as emissaries to share the Model Law on GBV and assist other regions of the world in enhancing their respective GBV legal frameworks.
- What are the issues which the Forum intends to advance with inter-parliamentary organisations
Dear Colleagues and distinguished Participants,
In your capacity as representatives of inter- Parliamentary organisations, you will be in the right position to attest to the fact that Model Laws only mark a beginning. Indeed, the Model Law on GBV will need to be progressively domesticated once adopted by the Forum, and thereafter the Forum will continue to monitor the domestication efforts made by Member States through the work conducted by its oversight organ, the Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee (RPMLOC).
Thus, looking forward, the Forum and inter- parliamentary organisations need to join hands and muster joint efforts to discuss issues such as the duality of norms and the normative divide that exists between national and international law, the concepts of monism and dualism, the need to identify the bottlenecks to domestication, to cite a few. The meeting of today is thus also to reflect on the ways and means to pave the way forward for the SADC Model Law on GBV by engaging reflections to jointly tackle GBV by capacity development. This will include regularly building the capacity of Parliamentarians on identifying the challenges to domestication and sharing cross-learning experiences that can save the time and energy for pro-active MPs who want to bolster their GBV frameworks at national level. Capacity development will also need to be targeted to legislative staff of State law offices and Parliaments, as well as those that assist Gender Caucuses.
There is also a further need for inter-parliamentary organisations including the Forum to reflect on the value that Model Laws or regional instruments made by inter-parliamentary bodies bring to the existing body of international law, and in this respect, how far can the Model Law on GBV influence international law.
Within the scope of its mandate under the Strategic Plan (2019-2023) of the Forum, the SADC-PF is thus poised to act as a think tank to attract ideas and proposals from peer inter-parliamentary organisations around the world in view of spearheading issues such as benchmarking and domestication that need to be promptly overcome for Parliamentarians to incorporate Model Laws within the national legal system, including the SADC Model Law on GBV which would be the subject of today’s discussions.
In addition, the Forum will be keen to collaborate with like-minded inter-parliamentary organisations to pool resources and develop advocacy content that can further facilitate the assimilation of the SADC Model Law on GBV not only by Parliaments but by other stakeholders in the law-making process such as Line Ministries, technocrats, civil society organisations, to cite a few. Advocacy content include parliamentary manuals, brochures, as well as animated videos, cartoons or any other content that can appeal to the attention of stakeholders and buttress the need to address GBV through a legislative framework, with the Model Law serving in the backdrop as a guiding normative standard.
- Implementing a plan for the Forum to disseminate the Model Law
Distinguished Colleagues and Participants,
I wish to end by saying that your collaboration today is highly appreciated as the Forum embarks into the final stages of the adoption of the SADC Model Law on GBV. In the months to come, the Forum will be finalising its dissemination plan for the SADC Model Law pursuant to its adoption by the 50th Plenary Assembly, and representatives present today are invited to engage their organisations to participate constructively to this exercise. The Forum firmly believes that baby steps can turn into giant steps by the earnest collaboration of like-minded organisations which are unified by the shared vision to eradicate GBV once and for all.
On this good note, I wish to thank you again for your attendance today, and I wish you all a pleasant session.
Ms B.Sekgoma, Secretary General,
SADC Parliamentary Forum 30th September 2021
Avis Aux Médias: Réunion Virtuelle Du FP-SADC Sur La Mise En Œuvre Des Engagements De La SADC En Matière De Santé Et D'agriculture Au Zimbabwe27 Sep 2021 Written by SADC Parliamentary Forum
WINDHOEK (NAMIBIA), lundi 28 septembre 2021
Le Forum parlementaire de la Communauté de développement de l'Afrique australe (FP-SADC) tiendra demain, mardi 28 septembre 2021, une réunion virtuelle sur la responsabilité sociale et la surveillance dans la mise en œuvre des engagements régionaux de la SADC en matière de santé et d'agriculture au Zimbabwe.
La réunion, organisée par le FP-SADC en collaboration avec le Partenariat pour la responsabilité sociale, est le premier dans une série de cinq dialogues nationaux visant à aider les Parlements membres du FP-SADC et les Parlementaires au niveau de pays à évaluer, de manière critique, la mise en œuvre et le suivi des accords régionaux dans leurs pays respectifs. Les quatre autres pays qui bénéficieront de cette initiative, dont l’objectif est de donner aux Parlementaires l'occasion de se pencher sur d'éventuelles interventions d’ordre parlementaire, sont le Malawi, le Mozambique, la Tanzanie et la Zambie.
Les détails de la réunion sont les suivants :
Date : Mardi 28 septembre 2021
Heure : De 09h30 à 16h00 (Temps d’Harare/Pretoria).
ACCÈS DES MÉDIA
Les réunions du FP-SADC sont ouvertes aux médias. Les journalistes qui souhaitent les couvrir doivent s'inscrire sur le lien repris ci-dessous, afin d’être ajoutés au Groupe WhatsApp de médias accrédités au FP-SADC, où les informations relatives aux événements du Forum sont régulièrement partagées avec les médias :
L'inscription à la réunion est accessible sur le lien ci-dessous :
La réunion sera diffusée en direct sur la chaîne 408 de DSTV. Elle sera également diffusée en direct sur les plateformes des médias sociaux du FP-SADC accessibles sur les liens suivants :
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sadcpf
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sadcpf
- YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCa0QZWjuXVxer_vm637pBmQ
ÉMIS PAR LE FORUM PARLEMENTAIRE DE LA COMMUNAUTÉ DE DÉVELOPPEMENT DE L'AFRIQUE AUSTRALE.