Call for the Establishment of Rights Commission

Civil society organisations are stepping up to calls for the establishment of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights of Liberia (INHC). The commission will take over from and implement recommendations advanced by that country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Amongst other things, CSOs are calling on the government to urgently take appropriate measures aimed at resolving this concern for the speedy reconstitution and operation of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights within the next 60 days as of 23 July 23 2009.

Rwanda Human Rights Record Criticised

Rwanda's suitability for Commonwealth membership this year has been questioned because of its human rights record.

A report released by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) pointed out that harsh laws banning genocide ideology, harassment of independent journalists and military intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo make Rwanda's accession ill-advised.

SA to Build Nuclear Power Stations

South Africa is considering the construction of three nuclear power stations on its coastline despite objections from environmentalists.

The three new nuclear stations, provisionally known as Nuclear one, two and three, are expected to deliver twice the amount of power produced by the Koeberg nuclear station near Cape Town.

In 2002, Greenpeace activists raided Koeberg from the sea in inflatable dinghies. Six climbed the five-storey seawater cooling pumphouse to hoist banners protesting against South Africa's use of nuclear power.

NGOs to Sue Government Over CDF

Tanzanian NGOs have announced that they will sue the country’s government should it go ahead in introducing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Representatives of several NGOs are asking the government to also shelve the plan to channel the funds through local authorities if MPs will still be allowed to control them.

The Policy Forum members said the CDF has been wrongly mooted and planned, and will therefore be difficult to implement.

Ethiopia Suspends NGOs

Ethiopian authorities have suspended the operations of 42 NGOs allegedly involved in activities that are out of their mandate in the Southern region of the country.

Ethiopia's Southern regional state justice office chief, Yilma Meresa, points out that those NGOs were out to interrupt the peace and development of the region.

NGOs Fight to ‘Hang On’ to Good Staff

High staff turnover due to a lack of adequate subsidisation by Government, plagues many South African NGOs, that struggle to provide the necessary services to communities in need.

In the Eastern Cape subsidies used to pay social workers have not been increased in two years, while social auxiliary workers are subsidised on the Department of Social Development’s 2002 scales.

NGO Rescues 39 Trafficked Children

Thirty-nine trafficked children have been rescued in communities along the Volta Lake in Ghana. The children were rescued by the Partners in Community Development Programme (PACODEP).

The children, aged between six and 13 years who were rescued within three months, are part of a programme sponsored by Geneva Global, an international organisation which fights against all forms of human rights abuses, working in collaboration with PACODEP in Ghana.

Policy Failure Will Keep SA Poor

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says South Africa will remain a largely poor and unequal society because the government is unlikely to amend poor policy, which will result in an economic growth rate of only three percent a year until 2030.

SAIRR deputy CEO, Frans Cronje, says a number of risk factors will become prominent in the next two decades, including the government’s retreat from growth-led development to an interventionist and redistributive policy.

Food Banking to Expand Countrywide

Durban is gearing up to join Cape Town and Johannesburg as a host city to a FoodBank which aims to address urban hunger by collecting donated food at a central warehouse from where it can be distributed.

The banks, which are affiliated to the Global FoodBanking Network, which has affiliates in 14 countries, sorts donated food into nutritionally balanced parcels which are then distributed to NGOs who feed the hungry.

Department's Success Depends on Partnerships

The success of the newly established Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities is dependent on the participation of civil society. This is according to Minister Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya.

As the national office is within the Presidency and there are no departmental MEC's in the provinces, the minister said there would be branch offices within the premiers' offices and at the local government level.


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