Human Rights Watch (HRW) has issued a ‘warning’ to the South African government, that human rights are ‘taking a turn for the worst’ in the country, citing attacks on the free press and escalating police violence as the main reasons for the regression.
HRW’s Southern Africa director, Tiseke Kasambala, says that while South Africa remain a ‘beacon of hope’ on the continent, its human rights legacy is gradually being eroded.
"There is an increasingly violent reaction to peaceful protests in South Africa. It seems that every time there are protests in South Africa, the police are heavy-handed, and use excessive force. We want to see President [Jacob] Zuma and his government make clear that the police must abide by international standards, and use proportionate force," explains Kasambala.
To read the article titled, “Lethal force: SA warned on human rights,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The Right2Know (R2K) campaign says the deaths of four people in Mothutlung is ‘a symptom’ of increasing police brutality and growing attacks on the right to protest.
In a press statement, the organisation points out that, "Too often media, civil society and government pay attention to the plight of the poor only once streets are barricaded and property destroyed."
The organisation further states that it supports calls made by various organisations to demilitarise the police, as it believes that this is driving greater police violence, including against protesters.
To read the article titled, “R2K: Mothutlung a symptom of police brutality,” click hereSource:News 24
A rights group is seeking a review of the three gay men's jail sentences and plans to challenge laws that criminalise homosexuality in Malawi.
A Malawi high court began hearing a petition by a leading rights group seeking to obtain the review of jail sentences of three gays and to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality.
"We want the court to declare the laws that criminalise homosexuality in Malawi unconstitutional," explains Gift Trapence, director of a rights group, the Centre for Development of People.
To read the article titled, “Rights group fights Malawi's anti-gay laws,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The Sisonke Sex Workers Movement says that the African National Congress (ANC) members should lobby for the decriminalisation of prostitution because some of the party's officials used prostitutes' services.
The organisation’s national lobbyist, Nosipho Vidima, points out that, “It's unfortunate that we are good enough for the ANC politicians to make use of our services, but they are afraid to come out in support of decriminalisation of sex work, and the protection of our human rights."
Vidima was responding to media reports that prostitutes made good money during the ANC's election manifesto launch in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
To read the article titled, “ANC officials use prostitutes, so they should legalise prostitution: Sisonke,” click here.Source:Times Live
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) says the killing of two protesters by police in Mothutlung in Brits, North West, is an outrage.
In a press statement, CASAC states that citizens expected lessons would have been learned and remedial action taken after the killing of Andries Tatane in April 2011, the Marikana shootings in August 2012, and the killing of Mido Macio in Daveyton in February 2013.
“So far no one has been held to account for the killings of Tatane, Macio, and the dead of Marikana. The failure to act against the perpetrators of these killings will only serve to undermine respect for the rule of law,” it warns.
To read the article titled, “CASAC outraged at Brits protester killings,” click here.Source:IOL News
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 13 percent of Zimbabwean children are engaged in child labour, due to the demise of the country's manufacturing sector.
Labour experts and economists state that parents and caregivers are forced to send their children to work in order to boost household incomes, following company closures, downsizings and retrenchments which led to the depletion of the manufacturing sector in that country.
"Children, together with women, are bearing the brunt of company closures that, according to findings by our retrenchment committee for the period from July 2013, have resulted in an average of 300 workers being laid off per week," states Japhet Moyo, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union's secretary general.
To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe's ailing economy fuels child labour,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
Survival International, a British-based NGO, says the world should pay attention to the potential threat that hydraulic fracturing for gas has for the indigenous Khoisan people of Botswana.
The organisation, which aims to protect the rights of indigenous tribes, reported yesterday that large parts of Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve – home to Africa’s last hunting Khoisan – had been opened up to international companies for the controversial practice of fracking.
It warns that if the Botswana government’s plans go ahead, it could be the first country in Southern Africa to carry out the extraction of gas from deep underground.
To read the article titled, “Fracking puts Khoisan at risk, claims NGO,” click here.Source:The Post
A United Nations independent rights expert has called for policy changes that will allow developing countries the freedom to use their reserves to help secure the right to food without the threat of sanctions under current World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, points out that, "Trade rules must be shaped around the food security policies that developing countries need, rather than policies having to tiptoe around WTO rules."
His call comes on the eve of a high-level WTO summit in Bali, Indonesia, which opened on 3 December 2013 and runs through 6 December 2013, which will try to reach agreement on proposals on developing countries' food stockholding for food security, as part of the Doha Round trade negotiations.
To read the article titled, “WTO rules must address food security needs of developing countries - UN expert,” click here.Source:All Africa
According to Alex Bell, efforts by Zimbabwean civil society groups to push a human rights agenda at the international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), are being undermined by some of the key beneficiaries of the sector, including ZANU PF.
Bell states that the KP’s civil society wing have been fighting a drawn out battle to pressure the monitoring group to reform, in order to better fight diamond trade-linked human rights abuses.
He further says that the most recent plenary session of the KP again failed to take these reforms on board, with the views expressed by the civil society members of the body instead being criticised as ‘malicious’.
To read the article titled, “ZANU PF involved in undermining civil society diamond fight,” click here.Source:SW Radio Africa
An 83-year-old woman from Mbekweni township in Paarl, Western Cape has been honoured by her peers for her outstanding service in her community.
The honour is part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.
Nelly 'Makhulu' Johnson has been caring for abused children in her community for the past 40 years.
To read the article titled, “Western Cape granny honoured for community work,” click here.Source:SABC News