Jul 3, 2012

Constitution Review: Part IV

This upcoming Saturday, July 7 our featured guest is Dr. Maureen K. Mwanawasa, founder and chair of the Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative (MMCI) and the Former first lady of the Republic of Zambia. The MMCI was Formed by Dr. Mwanawasa in April 2002, after her husband, the late President of Zambia Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, was elected president of Zambia. The mission of MMCI has been to uplift the living standards of Zambian children, youth, and women by promoting clean water and sanitation, health care, education, and social welfare.


This segment will be two-hours long and will air starting at 8 a.m. PST, 11 a.m. EST, 15 hrs GMT, 17 hrs CAT. 

Under discussion in our continuing series are the following provisions:

Part V BILL OF RIGHTS 
Civil and Political Rights



Equality of both Genders

51. (1) Women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in cultural, political, economic and social activities.
(2) Women and men are entitled to be accorded the same dignity and respect of the person.
(3) Women and men have an equal right to inherit, have access to, own, use, administer and control land and other property.
(4) Women and men have equal rights in the marriage, during the marriage and at the dissolution of the marriage.
(5) Any law, culture, custom or tradition that undermines the dignity, welfare, interest or status of women or men is prohibited.

Further rights for women

52. Without limiting any right or freedom guaranteed under the Bill of Rights, women have the right to-
(a) reproductive health, including family planning and access to related information and education;
(b) acquire, change or retain their nationality, including the right to change the nationality of their children if this is in the best interest of the children;
(c) choose residence and domicile;
(d) guardianship and adoption of children;
(e) choose a family name; and
(f) non-custodial sentences if pregnant or are nursing mothers, except as a measure of last resort for those women who pose a danger to the community.

Family

54. (1) The State shall recognise and protect the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society and the necessary basis of the social order.

(2) A person who is eighteen years of age or older has the right to freely choose a spouse of the opposite sex and marry.

(3) The State shall, in recognition of the importance of children to the future of society, the maternal role of women and nurturing role of both parents –

(a) ensure the right of women to adequate maternity leave;
(b) ensure the availability of adequate paternity leave;
(c) ensure the availability of adequate maternal health care and child health care; and
(d) promote the availability of adequate child-care facilities.

Children

55. (1) It is the duty of parents and the State to nurture, protect and educate children.
(2) All children, whether born in or outside wedlock, are equal before the law and have equal rights.

(3) In all actions concerning a child, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

(4) A child’s mother and father, whether married to each other or not, have an equal duty to protect and provide for the child.

(5) Every child has a right –

(a) to a name and a nationality from birth and to have the birth registered;
(b) to parental care, or to appropriate alternative care, where the child is separated from its parents;
(c) to free basic education;
(d) to be protected from discrimination, neglect, abuse and harmful cultural rites and practices, including female genital mutilation and body mutilation, and to be protected from marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years;
(e) to be protected from any work that is exploitative or likely to be hazardous or adverse to the child’s welfare;
(f) to adequate nutrition, shelter, basic health care services, social protection and social services;
(g) not to be subjected to corporal punishment or any other form of violence, or cruel and inhuman treatment, in the home, school and any institution responsible for the care of children;
(h) to be protected in times of armed conflict and not to be recruited and used in armed conflict;
(i) not to take part in hostilities;
(j) not to be incarcerated on account of the mother’s incarceration;
(k) to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development;
(l) to protection from all forms of sexual exploitation or abuse;
(m) not to be detained or imprisoned, except as a measure of last resort, in which case that child has the right to be –
(i) detained for a period of not more than forty-eight hours;
(ii) kept separate from adults in custody;
(iii) accorded legal assistance by the State;
(iv) treated in a manner and be kept in conditions that take into account the child’s gender and age; and
(v) tried in a Juvenile Court;

(n) to diversion programmes;
(o) to know of decisions affecting that child, to express an opinion and have that opinion taken into account, having regard to the age and maturity of the child and the nature of the decision;
(p) to protection of the child’s identity from exposure by the media during criminal proceedings; and
(q) to survival and development.

(6) Children with special needs, orphans, a child whose parent is in prison, children with disability, refugee children and homeless children or children living or who spend time, on the streets, are entitled to the special protection of the State and society.

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