International Religious Freedom Report Country of Zambia

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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. It had undertaken multi-party elections, and the ruling party -- the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy -- was ushered into power on 31 October 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.

2018 Report on International Religious Freedom: Zambia

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.

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In preparing the current report, the Government had considered the guidelines already adopted by the Human Rights Committee, he said. Responding to written questions from the Committee, Mr. Kasanda then said that since the last report was submitted in , Zambia had undergone major transformations, including the amendment of the Constitution to provide for a multi-party system.

In , a commission had been appointed to gather information all over the country on a general consensus on the type of constitution the people wanted to have. A white paper had been published as the outcome of that commission's work. In the economic arena, there had been. That had required a series of amendments to Zambian laws.

He said the Zambian bill of rights guaranteed certain fundamental human rights, and it was part of the Constitution. Thus, it was part of the supreme law of the land. There were no contradictions between the bill of rights and the Covenant, as the bill of rights contained the rights guaranteed in the Covenant. Considerable thinking had been given to incorporating the Covenant into domestic law. Debate on the new Constitution was in a very advanced stage.

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One type of debate was by the public. The other type related to the technical drafting of the Constitution, which involved comparison with international human rights standards. Thus, the Covenant had been taken into account in the formulation of the new Constitution. He said the Commission for Investigation was established essentially to investigate complaints of maladministration and make recommendations to the Government.

The Munyama Human Rights Commission was established to investigate cases of torture and human rights abuses. It made recommendations to the Government to facilitate the promotion and protection of human rights. The report of the Commission was now before the Government, and the Commission had finished its work. There was a direct relationship between those two bodies, as they were both advisers to the Government and investigated its performance.

Steps to disseminate information on the rights recognized in the Covenant in the various languages spoken in Zambia had not been taken due to financial constraints, he said. Economic problems had necessitated government cutbacks.

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Another constraint in that regard was the problem of illiteracy in the country. At independence, Zambia was in a state of emergency, and certain regulations had been enacted to protect public security, he continued. Such regulations were used to curtail the activities of the independence movement. Historically, that was the origin of the state of emergency, which had continued after independence, due to problems Zambia faced with some of its neighbours.

In , the state of emergency was lifted. It was reinstated in , when a subversive plot was discovered, but it had lasted for only three months. All persons were equal under the law in Zambia and that included minorities, he said. In , a constitutional amendment had been adopted by which discrimination on the grounds of sex was prohibited.

The major problem, however, was de facto discrimination. Although forbidden, such discrimination did exist, a consequence of some cultural differences that put women in an inferior position. The Government acknowledged that such a situation existed. The long-term solution to that problem was education, of both the society, to.

Its reports indicated its commitment to the Covenant, and the Government had remedied many of the issues which had been brought to its attention. However, not all the grounds on which discrimination was prohibited had been cited in the Constitution. Although sexual discrimination was included in the Constitution, what was given by the right hand had been taken away by the left hand, he said.

There were various derogations which adversely affected the equality of women. He cited, in particular, the questions of divorce, adoption, devolution of property on death, and customary law.

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A study should be made of those aspects of customary law which affected women adversely. Equality between men and women required education, not merely legislation. However, such derogations as appeared in Zambia's Constitution did not assist in that effort. He said he did not understand the restrictions regarding eligibility for the presidency, and asked the delegation to share the country's experience on that question. Was any insuperable difficulty created to prevent persons from being eligible to public office under the terms of the Covenant?

While that right was restricted to citizens, one could make things very difficult by establishing restrictive terms for citizenship. While Zambia's report provided a great deal of information regarding the law, it did not say much regarding actual practice in the country. Fortunately, there seemed to be very active non-governmental organizations in Zambia, which addressed various human rights questions, including the rights of women.

He said that even if the judiciary in Zambia was independent, it was worrying that the judiciary was not the only body exercising such powers. He cited an incident in which journalists from The Post in Zambia were condemned by Parliament itself -- a political body -- which sentenced them to indefinite detention. It seemed the Government of Zambia had not done all it could to fight discrimination against women. In fact, it seemed that the law was being used to reinforce existing discriminatory attitudes.

Citing laws bearing on wife-beating and on the legal role of adultery in divorce, he said de facto discrimination was being legitimized by the legal system. The Constitution also seemed to permit discrimination against non-citizens of Zambia -- a distinction which was not compatible with the Covenant. In view of the procedure outlined for the granting of legal aid, it seemed that a litigant might need to obtain legal aid for the effort to obtain legal aid.

He said he had never known any case in Indian or British jurisprudence where the speaker of Parliament had condemned persons to indefinite detention until they apologized. Under Zambian law, what authority was conferred on the speaker to commit a person for contempt of parliament? He also asked for further information regarding Zambia's human rights commission.

Could the Government simply reject the proposals of that body?

He cited a report by Amnesty International which indicated that conditions in Zambian prisons were "notoriously poor". That organization stated that prisoners were overcrowded, denied basic necessities and medical treatment, and provided with inadequate food. Could the delegation comment on those comments? What steps were being taken to end discrimination against women resulting from the enforcement of customary and family law? Widow's inheritance under the law also represented a glaring inequality between men and women.

Did Zambia have a problem of child labour? What was the incidence of child labour in hazardous industries? What steps were being taken to eliminate child labour from such industries? On the next opportunity to bring Zambian legislation in line with the Covenant, he suggested that the provisions of an international instrument should be included, instead of the drafting of new provisions.

Concerning women, he said that more efforts should be put into eliminating ingrained prejudices. He expressed satisfaction with the ratification by Zambia of the Optional Protocol, adding that it had excellent record on matters under it. The explanation of the delegation on how Zambia complied with the views of the Committee had been confusing. Like any other common law country, there was imprisonment for debt in Zambia in the case of a person failing to make certain types of payments. That was a matter that should be examined.

The report and the delegation had stated that almost all provisions of the Covenant were covered by the Constitution. He asked if there had been any intention of conducting a revision of that, to make sure all Covenant rights were indeed guaranteed under Zambian law. It seemed that no revision had been made at the time of the ratification of the Covenant. Some measures must be.


She also asked about derogations during a state of emergency. What was Zambia doing to deal with de facto discrimination and related matters, including violence against women? How was Parliament dealing with that? Abortion was a crime in Zambia, but perhaps it was too much to consider abortion a crime. Given that abortion was a crime, she asked about the mortality rate in those cases.

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She also wanted to know about the situation of unmarried women who wanted to have an abortion. Was there, in fact, affirmative action and campaigns to help out the situation of women? What were the prospects of having the Zambian Constitution brought totally into conformity with the Covenant?

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  • As the delegation had admitted, discrimination on gender issues on a de facto basis still existed. He called on Zambia to reconsider the matter. She sought more information on that case and the regulations applicable to it. Referring to discriminatory laws, including on citizenship, and customary law and its privileged position in the Constitution, she wondered if such issues were related to a lack of representation of women in the political process itself.

    Zambia was not ashamed to acknowledge problems in certain areas. The country's current policies, following the ending of the dictatorship, would be governed by transparency, accountability and complete fair play. He was, therefore, grateful for the searching and considered queries which had been presented. It had not been possible to raise the funding to have someone come from the capital of Zambia to help address the Committee's concerns, he said. However, all of those concerns were being noted and where it was not possible to provide an immediate answer, the questions would be followed up on with the Committee.

    He acknowledged that there were major difficulties with respect to discrimination against women. With regard to adultery laws, those who chose to marry under statutory law were fully protected under Zambian law. When he was growing up and his own relatives were beaten up by their husbands, the woman would not even admit to having been beaten. That situation was changing, but it was a slow process. When schoolgirls became pregnant, they were expelled from school on disciplinary grounds, he said. If that were not done, it would open up a Pandora's box, with many pregnant girls in the classroom.

    However, now it was not only the girl who was expelled, but the boy as well. It was, therefore, a lesson to others that such behaviour could not be condoned. However, Zambian law offered a choice as to what type of marriage one would enter. In such case, adultery by either party would be grounds for divorce, as it would demonstrate the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. One could also choose to contract a marriage under customary law, in which case the provisions of customary law would apply, she said.

    Customary law allowed for polygamy. One did not even know if there was something known as "adultery" under customary law. Compare Nations. Regional Profiles Examine the religious composition, religious freedoms, demographics and multiple social and political measures for 22 global regions and the world. National Profiles Examine the religious composition, religious freedoms, demographics, constitutional clauses, survey findings and multiple social and political measures for nations.

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      Anglican, Pentecostal Atheist 4. Sources 1. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice.

      The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database , the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database , and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.