People in Tsumeb, Namibia. Editorial credit: ingehogenbijl /


While Namibia is a multiparty democracy, the ruling South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) has ruled since independence. Protections for civil liberties are generally robust. Minority ethnic groups accuse the government of favoring the majority Ovambo in allocating services. The nomadic San people suffer from poverty and marginalization. Other human rights concerns include police brutality, the criminalization of same-sex sexual relations, and discrimination against women.

FIW 2021 crop 2 cover photo

Freedom in the World — Namibia Country Report

Namibia is rated Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.