Sunday, 12 February 2012

Namibian Rights. What about Namibian responsibilities?

Last week we celebrated Constitution Day - 9th Februray. I thought about this great document we have in Namibia, but have to keep asking myself,
"Great that we have Namibian Rights. What about Namibian responsibilities?"

Since Independence, Namibians have been guaranteed their rights through our Constitution. These rights are are known by all, but how many of us realise the burden of responsibilities these same rights put on us? In this opinion piece I look at the rights in our constitution, and compare them to the responsibility expected of each of us to ensure these rights for us all.

And what is it to be a good citizen?

  • You must always remember that the other person has rights while being aware of your own
  • Think and do as you want, but know that your rights end where another’s begin
  • Create things which are useful to yourself and others
  • “It is to produce wealth by labour and only by labour, and to spend less than you have produced that your children may not be dependent on the state for support when you are no more. “
  • protect and defend the lives of others
  • not put other people’s lives at risk through my actions. This includes carrying of dangerous weapons, by acting recklessly and not disobeying our rules and laws. This is especially relevant to the responsibility we have as road users. It is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle and driver are in a fit condition to endanger the lives of others.
  • look after my own body by exercising, eating correctly, not smoking or abusing alcohol, not taking drugs or doing irresponsible things that may result in me becoming infected with communicable diseases such as HIV and AIDS
  • be polite to those who provide me with a service
  • enquire about the working conditions of the workers who provide me with services
  • pay adequately the people who work for me in my garden, around my house and within the office
  • treat every person equally and fairly
  • not discriminate unfairly against anyone on the basis of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, religion or status in society
  • respect the property of others
  • respect the letters, emails or conversations of people and avoid sharing this with others
  • recognise that love means long-term commitment, and the responsibility to establish strong and loving families
  • honour and respect my parents, and to help them,
  • be kind and loyal to my family, to my brothers and sisters, my grandparents and all my relatives
  • to see, and treat,  every child as my own
  • listen to, and respect the opinion of a child
  • provide an example of how to treat others
  • provide monetary support for my children to achieve their goals

 Article 6 - Protection of Life
The protection of life places on me the responsibility to:

Article 7 - Protection of Liberty
The protection of liberty places on me the responsibility to:
• not hurt, bully or scare people, or take measures to stop others who are hurting, bullying or scaring people
• find solutions for problems in a peaceful manner, that is without resorting to violence

Article 8 - Respect for Human Dignity
The right to human dignity places on me the responsibility to:
• treat every human being with respect and dignity
• be caring, kind-hearted and understanding with everyone, by greeting them warmly and speaking to them politely

Article 9 - Slavery and Forced Labour
The right to safe and fairly paid employment places on me the responsibility to:

Article 10- Equality and Freedom from Discrimination
The right to equality and freedom from discrimination places on me the responsibility to:

Article 13 - Privacy
This right to privacy by each citizen expects me to:

Article 14 – Family
The right to family expects me to:

Article 15 - Children's Rights
The responsibility of respecting children’s rights means:
I believe that we can still do more to teach ourselves, and our children, about responsibilities. Feel free to email me with your comments

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