Namibia ratified the Optional Protocol to CEDAW on May 26, 2000. In 2006, the CEDAW Committee decided a forced sterilization case brought by a Hungarian Roma woman who alleged that she had been sterilized without her informed consent. According to the Committee,
Before leaving the hospital the author asked the doctor for information on her state of health and when she could try to have another baby. It was only then that she learned the meaning of the word 'sterilization.'
The Committee found that the government had violated Article 10(h) of CEDAW by failing to provide appropriate family planning information. The Committee also found that the lack of informed consent violated Articles 12 and 16, which – respectively – guarantee the right to non-discriminatory health care services and the right to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights. In both cases, the women faced a pernicious form of discrimination based both on gender and HIV status or ethnicity.
Kudos to the Legal Assistance Center for taking this issue on!