Human rights

Public finance is key to delivering the human right to health

12 December 2018 

Today, December 12, is an equally significant date: the very first official Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day endorsed by the United Nations.

Universal health coverage is built on principles of equity and fairness, with health services allocated according to people’s needs and the health system financed according to people’s ability to pay.

How many of these iconic protest posters can you recognise?

12 December 2018 

Here's the story of the Treatment Action Campaign or how a handful of people created a global movement that changed the world.

Ten people, three banners, one folding table and just a handful of petitions — the fight to save the lives of millions of HIV-positive people began with the trappings of no more than your average mall fundraising stand on a December day at the foot of Cape Town's St George’s Cathedral.

Six women show up Madagascar’s infamous justice system

13 December 2018 

Crumbling walls crowded dirty spaces and tiny rations of dry cassava. Prisons are often a cruel place, especially in Madagascar.

All around the country, the stories of pre-trial detainees are disturbingly similar — poverty, poor education and weak police investigations. If a sniffer dog stops in front of your house, it can lead to you being held behind bars for years. 

You will have no access to lawyers while you await your trial date.

'Politicians have failed us': The despair of Nigeria's poor

25 November 2018 

Lagos, Nigeria - Emita Dida, a widowed mother of six, has been living in “Monkey Village” for more than a decade.

She is one of thousands of Nigerians to be calling this informal settlement in Lagos’ Ikeja neighbourhood home, sheltering in small shacks jammed together and constructed of rusted zinc.

“Life is difficult,” says Dida, who runs a street-food stall.

'Greedy' city official pocketed R439k meant for poor litter-pickers

Public health official Pumeza Schumacher, who stole hundreds of thousands of rands meant for litter-pickers to clean Nelson Mandela Bay wards, will have to wait until December 6 to be sentenced.

The former community liaison officer, who is out on bail, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and was convicted immediately in September.

She stole money to the tune of R439,398 over four years.

Could R100 a month be enough to keep South Africa’s young women HIV free?

29 November 2018 

In a world hemmed by patriarchy and poverty, cash transfers could be the missing link in SA’s HIV prevention programmes.

I recently visited an informal settlement in the heart of Nairobi and met a group of adolescent girls. They spoke to me candidly about their lives in the context of high rates of HIV, teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence. 

As I was talking about violence, they stopped me. 

Landmark moment for children’s rights in South Africa

28 November 2018

The Constitutional Court will this week consider the constitutionality of the use of corporal punishment in the home. The court prohibited beatings in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000.

At present, the common law defence of “reasonable chastisement” allows parents to hit their children as a form of discipline. The central question before the court on November 29 is whether this practice violates children’s rights.

Judge bars Trump from denying asylum to people entering US illegally

20 November 2018

A federal judge on Monday put a temporary halt to a Trump administration order denying the possibility of asylum to people who enter the US illegally.

President Donald Trump issued the proclamation earlier this month as a matter of what he called national security as a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants made its way through Mexico toward the US border.

South Korea to close Japan-funded 'comfort women' foundation

21 November 2018

South Korea on Wednesday announced the formal shutdown of a controversial Japanese-funded foundation created to help former wartime sex slaves -- a move that will further sour ties between the neighbours.

It sparked a sharp reaction from Tokyo, which summoned the South Korean ambassador and urged Seoul to respect its "international promise".


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