• Tutu Leads Swazi Rights Reform Crusade

    Nobel peace laureate, Desmond Tutu, and a raft of human rights organisations have signed an open letter demanding reforms from Swaziland's King Mswati III, denouncing arbitrary arrests and prosecutions.

    In a letter whose authenticity a Tutu spokesman confirmed, those involved say, "We write to express our concern about the state of freedom of expression, judicial independence, and the rule of law in the Kingdom of Swaziland."

    The open letter also urges the government to begin meaningful discussions with the growing number of citizens and independent organisations that are demanding their basic freedoms and calling for democratic reform in Swaziland.

    To read the article titled, “Tutu leads Swaziland human rights reform crusade,” click here.

    Times Live
  • No Gay Rights' Echos State - Minister

    Zambia has reiterated its position not to recognise gay rights, saying that ‘gaysm’ runs counter to the country’s culture and is an affront to the Constitution which recognises the country as a Christian Nation.

    The country’s foreign affairs deputy minister, Gabriel Namulambe, who also urged foreign missions accredited to Zambia to respect the views of the country about gay rights, says the country will abide by Christian values.

    "I want to make it very clear here that as Government, we have the Constitution to protect and in the preamble of our Constitution, Zambia is a Christian Nation and as such we live by the Christian values and we will not be able to recognise gay rights," he explained.

    To read the article titled, “No Gay Rights' Echos State,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Hatred Against Gays a Worldwide Problem

    Constitutional Law expert, Pierre de Vos, says hatred against homosexuals is not only an African problem.

    Speaking at a conference at the University of Cape Town where delegates from across the continent discussed challenges faced by gay communities, De Vos says the criminalisation of homosexuality in some African countries is an influence from the West.
    "Unlike in South Africa where legally if you are involved in same sex love then you are protected. In many other parts of the continent it is not the case, mostly so in the countries that have been colonised by the British because the colonial legal regulations were just transplanted,” he explained.
    To read the article titled, “Hatred against homosexuals is a worldwide problem,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Teachers Demand Mugabe’s Audience

    The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has written to President Robert Mugabe to request a meeting with him to register displeasure with current education minister, Lazarus Dokora.

    The teachers’ trade union group accuses Dokora of unilaterally introducing potentially destructive policies within the country's struggling education sector.

    Dokora is further accused of plans to shift schools sporting activities to weekends as well as to roll out CCTV camera installations in classrooms as a ‘spying’ measure on teachers.

    To read the article titled, “Unyielding teachers demand Mugabe audience,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Gauteng to Intensify Fight Against Child Abuse

    With more than 32 000 cases of child abuse recorded in the past decade (2004 and 2014), the Gauteng Department of Social Development in Gauteng vows to intensify the fight against the abuse of children.

    In light of this year’s Child Protection Week, running from 1 - 7 June 2014, MEC for agriculture, rural development and social development, Faith Mazibuko is launching a campaign under the theme, ‘Working Together to Protect Children’ and sub-themed, ‘Each For All and All For Each: Communities protecting their own’.

    The launch will be held today in Diepsloot, where there have been a number of cases of children being killed, raped and mutilated.

    To read the article titled, “Work together to protect our children, says MEC,” click here.

    The New Age
  • SAHRC Warns Against Corporal Punishment

    The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is concerned that there are still schools that administer corporal punishment despite it being illegal.
    The rights body says that the practice is contrary to the country's constitution and international human rights standards.

    Addressing the opening of its two-day conference on the subject at Parktown in Johannesburg, SAHRC chairperson, Lawrence Mushwana, says corporal punishment in schools infringes on the right of a learner to basic education.

    To read the article titled, “Corporal punishment infringes on learner's right: SAHRC,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Mandela Foundation Mourns Angelou

    The Nelson Mandela Foundation has paid tribute to the United States poet and author, Maya Angelou.

    In a press statement, the organisation spokesperson, Danielle Melville, points out that, "On behalf of our board of trustees and staff, the Nelson Mandela Foundation mourns the passing of Maya Angelou.”

    Melville says the late former President, Nelson Mandela, met Angelou in Cairo, Egypt in 1962, while he was garnering support for the armed struggle and undergoing military training.

    To read the article titled, “Mandela foundation mourns poet,” click here.

    Sowetan Live
  • SA Legally Bound to Educational Reforms

    Activists have urged the government to be legally bound to extensive education reforms.

    The application due to be heard in the Western Cape High Court will determine whether the government will have to submit regular reports to the public protector, the South African Human Rights Commission or the Auditor-General detailing how it is remedying its alleged failures to comply with the Constitution’s requirements on the right to basic education.

    Applicants Jean Pease, educationist and civil society activist, and the Progressive Principals Association, a 200-member Western Cape-based organisation, specify age-appropriate early childhood development programmes, mother tongue-medium education, timeous supply and delivery of adequate quantities of textbooks and relevant teaching materials and  professionalising teachers as the four areas in which they contend that the government’s systemically dysfunctional implementation violates constitutional rights.

    To read the article titled, “Education’s legal fires ‘need dousing’,” click here.

    Mail and Guardian
  • NGO: Malawi Women Have No Land Rights

    Malawi’s Nsanje Kuchene Women Forum has said despite women being the major agricultural producers in the country, they remain largely absent at all levels of policy-making, project formulation and management of land.
    The forum's president, Mary Namalomba, notes that under Malawi's formal law, women and men have the right to own land, individually or jointly with others, and the Constitution prohibits gender discrimination.
    “However, cultural biases often prevent women from enjoying equal access, control, and ownership of land despite being the major agricultural producers. In practice women do not have land rights because of socio-economic obstacles such as lack of education, and lack of resources to buy or lease land,” explains Namalomba.
    To read the article titled, “Women have no land rights,” click here.

    All Africa
  • NGO Condemns Death Threats Against its Staff

    The World Wildlife Fund has condemned ‘death threats’ against two of its staff fighting oil exploration in a Democratic Republic of Congo nature park just weeks after the park's director was shot.
    In a press statement, the organisation points out that, “Unidentified callers have threatened the personal safety of two employees working in the city of Goma."
    It says the staff have been involved in efforts to block oil exploration by a United Kingdom company, Soco International PLC, in nearby Virunga National Park, an 800 000-hectare nature reserve that is among the oldest in Africa and home to rare and endangered mountain gorillas.
    To read the article titled, “Death threats' for WWF staff opposing UK oil firm in DR Congo park,” click here.

    Times Live
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