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National Assembly
Parliamentary bodies dealing with human rights :
Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters

Type of parliamentary body Specialized
Nature Permanent
Related to chambers National Assembly
Date of creation The Committee was established in 1999 in line with the reforms that Parliament is undergoing with a view to ensuring that the activities of all govern
Last renewal date
Mandate The Committee was established in 1999 in line with the reforms that Parliament is undergoing with a view to ensuring that the activities of all government ministries and departments are scrutinised on a wider scale and in a more transparent manner. The Committee also deals with issues of governance, legal affairs and gender matters, as well as human rights. The Committee is mandated to oversee the activities of the Ministry of Legal Affairs/Gender in the Development Division at Cabinet Office and the Permanent Human Rights Commission and other government departments and agencies directly related to the operations of the Committee. In this regard, the Committee carries out detailed scrutiny of activities of the above and makes appropriate recommendations for ultimate consideration by government; makes recommendations on the need to review government policy or existing legislation; and may consider draft bills when these are referred to it by the House.
Membership The Committee comprises eight backbench MPs nominated by the Speaker to serve on the Committee. The Chairperson of the Committee is elected by its members at the beginning of each year. The members may serve for the entire duration of their five-year term of office. However, the Speaker may at his discretion make changes to the composition of the Committee.
Working methods At the beginning of each year, the Clerk servicing the Committee prepares the Draft Programme of Work for the Committee, which is considered and subsequently adopted by the Committee. The topics are usually selected taking into consideration current issues of interest. Some justification for each topic is given in the Draft Programme, together with suggestions about witnesses who may be called, and the sort of information that may be sought from them. After the programme of work has been approved, witnesses are notified of the times and dates of their appearance before the Committee indicated. The recommendations of the Committee based on the submissions (oral and written) are reflected in its report, which is submitted to the House and may result in new legislation. Once the report is adopted, it is for the government to implement the Committee's recommendations. Previously, the meetings of the Committee were held in camera. This has changed with the recent parliamentary reforms. Details of the implementation of these recommendations are contained in the Action Taken Report, which contains the government's response to them. The Committee does not issue any other documents apart from its annual report.
Relations with other parliamentary bodies The Committee does not have any specific relationship with other parliamentary bodies.
Relations with external bodies The Committee usually depends on submissions from the government and its agencies and other bodies such as the Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission and NGOs to furnish information relating to its programme of work.
Subjects dealt with The activities and operations of government agencies in the promotion of human rights and good governance in Zambia; the role of established government agencies and private institutions in enhancing the protection of the rights of the disabled so as to address the deficiencies in the protection of these rights; on-site evaluation of the conditions under which prisoners live to ascertain whether the rights of prisoners are upheld; protection of human rights in the system of criminal justice. 1) Rights of orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia with special emphasis on children in orphanages; 2) women in Decision-Making position in Zambia; 3) Women, Land Acquisition and Customary Law: a Legal and Gender concern; 4) the Criminal Justice System and congestion Zambia's prisons.
Main address National Assembly of Zambia
P.O. Box 31299
Phone ...
Fax ...
E-mail ...
Website www.parliament.gov.zm
Name Mr. Sakwiba Sikota
Notes Chaiperson
Address (if different from above)
Phone +260 211 29 24 25
Fax +260 211 29 22 52
E-mail sakwiba@yahoo.com
Website ...
Name Ms. Doris Katai K. Mwinga
Notes Clerk
Address (if different from above)
Phone +260 211 29 24 26, Ext. 3005
Fax ...
E-mail clerk@parliament.gov.zm
web site: ...
Name Mr. Stephen M. Kateule
Notes Principal Clerk
Address (if different from above)
Phone +260 211 29 24 25, Ext. 31299
Fax ...
E-mail skateule@parliament.gov.zm
web site: ...

Information on this page was last updated on 31 March 2009
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