The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) expresses its deepest concern at reports from Swaziland that Vincent Ncongwane, secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), was prevented from speaking at a gathering.
Ncongwane, who returned from the United States (US) where he attended a civil society meeting held to coincide with the US-Africa Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, was due to address the gathering on the outcomes of this visit.
SALC's executive director, Nicole Fritz states that, "The Swazi government is clearly angered that representatives of civil society dared speak out about the withdrawal of Swaziland's eligibility under the American African Growth and Opportunities Act” adding that, "It is distressing, but not surprising, that this now leads the authorities to actively prevent individuals who disagree with the official position from expressing their views."
To read the article titled, “Continuing clamp down on free speech in Swaziland,” click here.Source:All Africa
According to Linda Musariri Chipatiso, it seems incongruous that South Africans celebrate Women's Month, yet stories of conflict and gender-based violence (GBV) flood today's headlines.
In her article titled ‘Gender Violence Still Hinders Women's Freedom’, Chipatiso argues that, “Whether it is the abduction of girls in Nigeria, the unending trial of Oscar Pistorius or the young woman raped and murdered last over the weekend because of her sexuality- the horrific immediacy of violence is all too apparent.”
She states that the majority of cases go unreported, unnoticed and justice is not served, adding that it is also evident in conflict and post-conflict situations where rape is often used as a weapon of war.
To read the article titled, “Gender Violence Still Hinders Women's Freedom,” click here.Source:All Africa
A United Nations (UN) expert has condemned the abuse of young albinos in government care centres in Tanzania, a country where many are killed and their body parts sold as lucky charms.
Alicia Londono, of the UN human rights office, says that after a spike in killings in 2009, the government placed youngsters in children's homes in a desperate effort to defend them.
Londono points out that, “It was a protective measure, and welcome at the beginning,” adding that, “But the conditions are appalling. They are overcrowded, hygiene conditions are very poor.”
At least 74 albinos have been murdered in the East African country since 2000.
To read the article titled, “UN expert slams ‘abuse’ of albinos in Tanzania,” click here.Source:IOL News
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says that despite a growing school population, the number of South African schools has declined.
In its new report, the SAHRC says that approximately 2 000 schools have been closed down between 2000 and 2012.
SAHRC’s Carmen Abdoll, points out that most of the schools are in the Free State, and believes there is a risk that pupils in those areas are being disadvantaged.
To read an article titled, “Number of SA schools on the decline: SAHRC,” click here.Source:SABC News
Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, has described South Africa as one of the most unequal societies in the world.
In a speech delivered at the University of Stellenbosch, Madonsela says the country is one of the most unequal society despite the constitutional promises which include the substantive notion of equality.
"Compounding the situation is that poverty and unemployment have worsened and also the fact that, that too follows the contours of racial, gender and other forms of structural inequality or discrimination," she explained.
To read the article titled, “SA most unequal society in the world: Madonsela,” click here.Source:Times Live
A survey has revealed that, Gauteng residents are becoming increasingly tolerant of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, queer and other sexual orientations (LGBTIAQ).
Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) executive director, Professor David Everatt, points out that at least 71 percent of the 27 493 respondents believed that the LGBTIAQ+ community deserved equal rights.
In a press statement, Everatt states that, “37 percent strongly believe that homosexuality is against the values of their community while 56 percent disagree that it is…”
To read an article titled, “Gauteng tolerant to gays: Survey,” click here.Source:SABC News
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch believe the Southern African Development Community (SADC) should address human rights violations among its member states as part of measures to improve the lives of its people.
The three rights organisations draw attention to serious human rights concerns in Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe as the regional body prepares to host its 34th Summit of Heads of State and Government from 17-18 August 2014 in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights director, Irene Petras, states that, "SADC's commitment to human rights will come into question if Zimbabwe, as chair of the regional body, does not expedite the process of aligning its laws with the constitution and state institutions do not live up to the regional and international best practices."
To read an article titled, “SADC - Address members' rights issues - serious concerns in several member countries,” click here.Source:All Africa
The joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has welcomed the decision of Uganda's Constitutional Court to strike down a law banning the promotion of homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment.
The anti-gay legislation was deemed null and void by the court on the technicality that it was not passed by a required parliamentary quorum.
On the substance of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, there was no ruling from this court that struck down the law because not enough lawmakers had been present to vote on the bill, that aside, the decision was welcomed by UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sedibe, who called it a great day for social justice and where the rule of law had prevailed.
To read the article titled, “UNAIDS welcomes Uganda anti-gay law ban,” click here.Source:SABC News
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says United States (US) President, Barack Obama, should ensure that human rights concerns are a major focus of the US-Africa Leaders Summit.
The organisation argues that rights concerns should not be relegated to meetings in the margins of the summit, which is hosted under the theme ‘Investing in Our Future’ from 4-6 August 2014 in Washington DC.
HRW’s Africa director, Daniel Bekele, points out that, “The Leaders Summit seems to have dispatched Africa’s serious human rights problems to a sideshow, but the summit’s development and security goals hinge on addressing repression, corruption, and the rule of law.”
To read the article titled, “Make human rights central to summit,” click here.Source:Human Rights Watch
Mpumalanga’s Gert Sibande District recognises 24 leaders from the local community of men who have sex with men (MSM) for making a difference in their communities and fighting homophobia.
The Anova Health Institute, in partnership with the Department of Health and national associations of people living with HIV, launched the HIV prevention Boithato Project where MSM are provided with condoms, water-based lubricant and MSM-friendly HIV testing spaces.
The executive mayor of the Msukaligwa Municipality, Sipho Bongwe, says “We will continue supporting their project and work… because this is not only their struggle but ours as well.”
To read the article titled, “Awards recognise leaders among men who have sex with men,” click here.Source:Health-e