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Compliance with human rights instruments takes center stage

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Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights recently launched a book entitled; “Zimbabwe’s Status of Compliance with Human Rights Instruments” at a ceremony attended my human activists, media, Members of Parliament, members of diplomatic corps and civic organisations.   The book gives an overview of how much and how far Zimbabwe as a nation has come in compliance with human rights instruments both domestic and international. The book was described as useful tool by academics, researchers and civil society organisations. The book is also supposed to help legislators identify gaps in human rights law and help educate citizens of Zimbabwe on human rights.

During the launch prominent lawyer Mrs Beatrice Mtetwa gave examples of some court case scenarios where human rights laws are not well interpreted in the courts of justice in Zimbabwe. She noted with great concern the lack of provisions on children’s rights in our constitution. In her examples she said children are being prejudiced especially in the cases of having access to legal documents like birth certificates and also the law not being clear on inheritance issues when parents get divorced and property sharing issues.  Mrs Mtetwa went on to share experiences of some court case involving women, by giving an example of a scenario where custody of children is given to the mother and guardianship of the children going in the father’s favour thereby denying the mother the rights to be the automatic guardian of the children.

During the launch the Speaker of Parliament and also guest of honor, Hon Lovemore Moyo gave a keynote address by thanking ZLHR for coming up with a publication, which focused on human rights. During his speech he noted that Zimbabwe has not done well in terms of compliance to human rights instruments both internationally and domestically and stressed that the issues of compliance should not be left to government only but should include civil society.

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