Concluding Observations, CAT/C/NAM/CO/2, 1 December 2016: Namibia
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
26. The Committee notes that the bill on prevention and combating of torture provides for the prohibition of refoulement, in accordance with the Convention, and that the delegation gave assurances that no one has been expelled to a country where they risk being subjected to torture. However, the Committee remains concerned that section 24 (1) of the Namibia Refugees (Recognition and Control) Act, No. 41 of 1999, subject to the provisions of section 26, provides for the possibility of expelling recognized refugees and protected persons if it is in the interest of, inter alia, national security. The Committee is also concerned that the State party has still not ratified the 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa or acceded to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. While appreciating the information provided by the delegation on the number of Congolese refugees currently present in the State party’s territory, the Committee regrets the lack of information on their legal status and the number and origin of those who have received removal orders (exit notices). The Committee is further concerned that the Immigration Control Act, No. 7 of 1993, excludes a person convicted of sodomy from entering into Namibia (art. 3).
27. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(d) Ensure that individuals at risk of persecution owing to their sexual orientation or gender identity are not subject to refoulement and have equal access to asylum without discrimination;
(e) Repeal the provisions in the Immigration Control Act, No. 7 of 1993, that exclude a person convicted of sodomy from entering Namibia.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons
30. The Committee is concerned at reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons are subject to ill-treatment in detention, and that transgender women have been placed together with male detainees, exposing them to a high risk of sexual assault. The Committee is also concerned at reports of the failure to investigate, prosecute and punish violence, harassment and ill-treatment, rape and murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. The Committee is further concerned by reports of abuse of gay men by law enforcement personnel and by the stigmatization they suffer, especially taking into consideration the current criminalization of sexual acts between consenting adult men.
31. The State party should take all necessary measures to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons from threats and any form of violence, particularly in places of detention, including by separating transgender women from male detainees. The State party should ensure that violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons is promptly, impartially and thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted and punished. The State party should consider decriminalizing sexual acts between consenting adult men.
Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CAT-Namibia-2016-eng