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SECOND REPORT INTRODUCED IN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE Introducing Zambia's second periodic report pandora aussie on its compliance with the International purchase pandora charms online Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Peter L. Kasanda said the President had appointed a commission to ensure that Zambia's Constitution supported such fundamental rights and freedoms. The Government had also instituted measures to strengthen the rule of law and an independent judiciary. Members of the Committee raised a number of questions focusing on the issues of discrimination and violence against women, laws regarding abortion, and the position of customary law in Zambia's Constitution. Questions were also raised on such matters as prison conditions and imprisonment for debt, as well as a case in which the speaker of Parliament sentenced journalists to indefinite detention for contempt of Parliament. Responding to some of the questions on discrimination against women, Mwila Chigaga of Zambia's delegation said the problem was widespread and broad based. While women who chose to marry under statutory law were fully protected, only educated, independent Zambian women were in a position to assert that option. The majority of Zambian women were not in a position to say "no" to marriage under customary law. With regard to wife beating, she said Zambian women were protected in that such assault was a crime. However, most beaten wives refused to file complaints, generally because of economic dependence on their husbands. In its efforts to facilitate change, the Government was placing emphasis on education and had instituted a policy of "positive discrimination". Lobbying by Zambia's active non governmental organization community was also encouraging a change in attitudes, she said. Questions were raised by the experts from Mauritius, Israel, India, Cyprus, Egypt, Chile, Jamaica, Australia, United Kingdom and Germany. Wednesday, 27 March, to continue its consideration of Zambia's second periodic report. Committee Work Programme The Human Rights Committee met this afternoon to begin consideration of Zambia's second periodic report on its compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (document CCPR/C/63/Add.3). According to the report, Zambia attained independence in 1964 and reintroduced multi party democracy in December 1990. The rights set forth in the Covenant are embodied in Zambia's Constitution. There are also statutory provisions that provide for protection of fundamental freedom and human rights. Institutions such as courts have been established to provide redress in cases of proven violations. Zambia has ratified the Optional Protocol. "Women in Zambia suffer social discrimination and they still have a long way to go before equality with men is fully realized", the report states. Several non governmental organizations are carrying out seminars and workshops to bring about gender awareness in both men and women, and projects are being carried out to encourage women to be economically self reliant. Despite government measures to encourage their participation in national affairs, women continue to feel marginalized in public life and to be economically disadvantaged. A state of emergency existed in Zambia from independence in 1964 until after the multi party elections of 1991, the report states. It was again invoked in March 1993 "to deal with a situation involving a plot to make the country ungovernable through an orchestrated campaign of civil disobedience". A few members of the former ruling party were detained and subsequently released. Some were then charged with criminal offences. The Constitution provides for derogation from fundamental rights and freedoms under a state of emergency. The death penalty has not been abolished in Zambia and may be applied for the offences of murder and treason, the report continues. A convict may petition the President for clemency and secure a pardon or have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment. On other right to life issues, the right to life of an unborn child is protected to a considerable degree, a wrongful act or omission causing death can give rise to an action for damages, and a deprivation of life constituting genocide is punishable as murder. Although Zambia is not a signatory to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, such treatment is not permissible under its law, the report states. Judicial remedies are available and organizations exist to check into allegations of torture and to educate people on their rights. Evidence and confessions obtained under pandora charm watch duress may be declared inadmissible by the courts. Police officers are bound to refrain from acts of torture, and the Prisons Act provides for magistrates and judges to visit prisons at any time when complaints by remanded persons and convicts are made. Zambia's Constitution protects individuals from slavery and servitude, and prohibits forced labour except, for example, in connection with a court order, the report continues. An arrest is unlawful unless reasons for arrest are communicated to the person in a language he understands. An arrest becomes unlawful if there is unreasonable delay in taking a suspect before a court of law to be dealt with according to the law. While Zambia accepts the Covenant principles on protection from inhuman treatment, its economic situation has resulted in underfunding of the Prison Service Commission and lack of adequate prison facilities. As a result, in some areas accused and convicted persons share the same prison facilities. Economic constraints have also impeded segregation of juvenile offenders from adult prisoners during the pre sentencing stages of the trial. A person cannot be sent to prison for failure to comply with a contractual obligation, the pandora build a bracelet report states. The courts can only imprison a debtor when such a person has defaulted on a court order. The Constitution guarantees freedom of movement for citizens and non citizens within its territory, excluding movement on land that had been set aside for defence uses, and certain mineral rich areas and national parks. The Government may order the expulsion of a non citizen. In Zambia, all persons are equal before the law, according to the report. While children and persons of unsound mind may not pursue an action in their own right before courts of law, actions may be brought on their behalf. The right to a fair hearing is guaranteed by ensuring the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, through rules of evidence, by provision of legal representation and interpreter services, and through the application of remedies for allegations of unfairness in the manner in which a case is heard. Except where provision is made to the contrary, all courts are open courts, the report states. The decisions of the Supreme Court and High Court are published in law reports. An accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. All trials are conducted in the presence of the accused. The entitlement of any person to defend a charge, either in person or through an advocate, is recognized. The right to appeal against sentence or conviction is provided. The approach to the treatment of juvenile criminal offenders is protective and rehabilitative rather than punitive. The law in Zambia cannot be applied retroactively, the report continues. The protection of the right to privacy and property is not absolute. Exceptions are taken with respect to: issues of public safety, order, morality and health; in the interests of defence; or for the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion are guaranteed under the Constitution, according to the report. The President has declared Zambia a Christian country, but no law prohibits other religions to be practised fully. Religious education is not compulsory. In Zambia, everyone has the right to freedom of expression and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas as they wish. However, limitations are imposed to ensure that the enjoyment of that right and freedom by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. While there is no general prohibition on propaganda for war, a number of actions which could fall under that category are outlawed, the report states. The Penal Code outlaws expressing or showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for persons because of race, tribe, place of origin or colour. The Constitution bans discrimination based on race, religion and political opinions. The right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed under the Constitution, with restrictions aimed at maintaining public order, public health, and to protect the rights and freedoms of persons not taking part in a particular assembly. All assemblies, public or private, are subject to the interests of public health, morality and safety. While there are no restrictions on freedom of association, associations of more than a certain number of people must be registered. Restrictions are imposed on persons employed in the public service or civil servants. In Zambia, the extended family is a fundamental social institution, the report states. It is covered by customary law and recognized as beneficiary of a deceased person's estate. The right to marry is regulated under both statutory and customary law. The Constitution proscribes the employment of children under fifteen years of age in any occupation that prejudices their health or education, or interferes with their development, say the report. It is a criminal offence to attempt to procure an abortion and to actually abort. A child under the age of eight years is not criminally responsible. Although the employment and exploitation of young children is prohibited, the prevailing economic situation makes it impossible to fully realize that right. While the law prohibits trafficking of children and protects them from ill treatment, the social welfare system lacks the necessary manpower and equipment. According to the report, Zambian citizens are free to take part in public affairs. They may vote and stand as candidates for any public office and may seek appointment to various non elected public offices. Entrance to Zambia's public service and armed forces is open to all citizens. While the right to equality is enshrined in the Constitution, "positive discrimination" is permitted in such areas as the employment of women and young children. Zambia is a multiracial society which supports and protects minorities. Introduction of Report PETER L. KASANDA (Zambia) said his country had undergone major changes since the submission of its previous report. It had undertaken multi party elections, and the ruling party the Movement for Multi Party Democracy was ushered into power on 31 October 1991. That Government was committed to promoting democratic principles and was determined that the Constitution should effectively promote fundamental human rights and freedoms. He said the President had appointed a commission to review Zambia's Constitution, he said. Its terms of reference included collecting views from the general public, including Zambians living outside the country, on the type of constitution Zambia should enact. It was to recommend a system of government that would ensure Zambia was governed through free and fair elections, arrangements to entrench and protect human rights, and provisions to ensure the impartiality and independence of the judiciary. He said the Commission would also make recommendations on: the composition and function of the organs of state; a system for a smooth transfer of power following an election; and relations between the party in power and opposition parties. It was also to recommend whether the Constitution should be adopted by the National Assembly, a constituent assembly, a national referendum or some other means. It was to recommend a method for amending the Constitution and examine subject matter relevant to strengthening multi party democracy. In discharging its duties, it was to undertake wide consultations with the public and relevant groups. The Government was aware of the importance of an independent judiciary, and had been working to strengthen the rule of law, he said. It had already instituted wide ranging measures, beginning with the retraining and reorientation of police officers, judges and magistrates. On the economic front, a structural adjustment programme had been put into place.
It had already precipitated major reforms in the financial, economic, social, health and education sectors. Fiscal policy had been targeted to achieve a better balance between domestic demand and production, while raising national savings and providing a short term stimulus to aid economic recovery. In preparing the current report, the Government had considered the guidelines already adopted by the Human Rights Committee, he said.
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