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Namibia - Constitution

Adopted on: Feb 1990


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is indispensable for freedom, justice and peace; 
Whereas the said rights include the right of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status; 
Whereas the said rights are most effectively maintains and protected in a democratic society, where the government is responsible to freely elected representatives of the people, operating under a sovereign constitution and a free and independent judiciary; 
Whereas these rights have for so long been denied to the people of Namibia by colonialism, racism and apartheid; 
Whereas we the people of Namibia - 
have finally emerged victorious in our struggle against colonialism, racism and apartheid; 
are determined to adopt a Constitution which expresses for ourselves and our children our resolve to cherish and to protect the gains of our long struggle; desire to promote amongst all of us the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Namibian nation among and in association with the nations of the world; 
will strive to achieve national reconciliation and to foster peace, unity and a common loyalty to a single state; 
committed to these principles, have resolved to constitute the Republic of Namibia as a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State securing to all our citizens justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. 
Now therefore, we the people of Namibia accept and adopt this Constitution as the fundamental law of our Sovereign and Independent Republic.
Article 10 [Equality and Freedom from Discrimination] 
(2) No persons may be discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, colour , ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.
Article 14 [Family] 
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, creed or social or economic status shall have the right to marry and to found a family. They shall be entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
Article 19 [Culture] 
Every person shall be entitled to enjoy, practice, profess, maintain and promote any culture, language, tradition or religion subject to the terms of this Constitution and further subject to the condition that the rights protected by this article do not impinge upon the rights of others or the national interest.
Article 20 [Education]
(4) All persons shall have the right, at their own expense, to establish and to maintain private schools, or colleges or other institutions of tertiary education: provided that: 
a) such schools, colleges or institutions of tertiary education are registered with a Government department in accordance with any law authorising and regulating such registration; 
b) the standards maintained by such schools, colleges or institutions of tertiary education are not inferior to the standards maintained in comparable schools, colleges or institutions of tertiary education funded by the State; 
c) no restrictions of whatever nature are imposed with respect to the admission of pupils based on race, colour or creed; 
d) no restrictions of whatever nature are imposed with respect to the recruitment of staff based on race or colour.
Article 21 [Fundamental Freedoms] 
(1) All persons shall have the right to: 
b) freedom of thought, conscience and belief, which shall include academic freedom in institutions of higher learning; 
c) freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practice;
Article 97 [Asylum] 
The State shall, where it is reasonable to do so, grant asylum to persons who reasonably fear persecution on the ground of their political beliefs, race, religion or membership of a particular social group.
Note: Further information on the constitutional background of Namibia is provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg. 

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