Lusaka ~ Mon, 05 Oct 2020
By ZR Reporter
Care for Nature Zambia executive director Nsama Musonda said in a statement that the country has not yet amended the Bill of Rights in the Constitution to include the Economic Social and Cultural Right (ESCR), “a right that provides for an adequate standard of living including food, clothing, housing, medical care and social services.”
Ms Musonda said during the commemoration of the World Habitat Day under the theme “housing for all-A Better Urban Future” that the absence of the ESCR in our constitution makes it difficult for affected people to demand for their rights because these rights are not guaranteed.
“Care for nature Zambia is happy to join the rest of the World in commemorating World Habitat Day under the Theme: Housing for all-A Better Urban Future. In 1985, the United Nations chose the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and on the basic right of all to attain adequate shelter,” she said.
“In Zambia the national housing deficit stands at more than 2 million units and is compounded by rapid population growth and continued rural urban migration. 65% of houses found in Zambia are traditional while 36% are Urban. This indicates that the majority of people in Zambia especially in the rural and peri-urban areas have no decent shelter contrary to the right to adequate housing under the article 25(1) of the Universal declaration of Human Rights to which Zambia is a state party. To date Zambia has not yet amended the Bill of Rights in the Constitution to include the Economic Social and Cultural Right, a right that provides for an adequate standard of living including food, clothing, housing, medical care and social services. The absence of the ESCR in our constitution makes it difficult for affected people to demand for their rights because these rights are not guaranteed.”
Ms Musonda said that the failed attempt to amend article 79 through a referendum in 2016, there has been no call to re-attempt the amendment, adding that it was quiet worrisome because the ESCR are fundamental for achieving the vision 2030 without leaving any one behind.
“As we commemorate this day, we are appealing to the head of state Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu and all Parliamentarians to consider amending the Bill of Rights to include the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in line with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights,” she said.
Ms Musonda said citizens have a right to descent housing and today we are all reminded that we have the power and responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.