rights

Call for SADC States to End Rights Violations

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.

Ban on Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law Welcomed

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.
 

Call to Make Rights Central to US-Africa Summit

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.

MSM Recognised For Fighting Homophobia

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.

Govt’s ‘Forced Birth Control’ Criticised

Thirty students - 13 of them women - will fly to India today to study pharmacy and ultrasonography but not before 11 young women were implanted with Implanon, a matchstick-size rod inserted in the arm to prevent one from falling pregnant.

One student was advised against taking the contraceptive due to an existing medical condition. Another said she ‘was not ready for it’.

SAHRC Probed Over 500 Racism Cases

Over 500 racism-related cases have been reported to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in the past year.

SAHRC chairperson of the hearings into transformation at universities in South Africa, Lawrence Mushwana, notes that the complaints were not only in universities, adding that, “In the 2013/2014 financial year, 45 percent of the SAHRC's complaints were race-related and dealt with the right to equality.”

Sex Workers Seek HIV Prevention

The new series of the Lancet medical journal, argues that achieving an AIDS-free generation will not be possible unless the rights of sex workers are recognised. 

Researchers state that sex workers face violence and discrimination and are not able to access the care, treatment and prevention measures they need. 

NGO Recalls Lwandle's Brutal, Violent Eviction

A non-governmental organisation (NGO) states that a young man committed suicide and a woman miscarried following the eviction of illegal shack dwellers in Lwandle, Cape Town.

Sheena St Clair Jonker, founder of the Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa argues that these are only a few cases she could consult with, adding that “I am trying to assist you in connecting with the real and the authentic."

SAHRC: School Staff Guilty of Racist Hate Speech

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) finds a Bloemfontein school's staff guilty of hate speech towards black and coloured pupils.

In May 2013, The SAHRC investigated allegations that pupils at the school were exposed to dehumanising and racist treatment by staff, including the principal.

SAHRC spokesperson, Isaac Mangena says the commission found the names and remarks (kaffirs, baboons, monkeys, and little black bitches) allegedly used by the staff as being hate speech as defined by the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

Two Swazi Govt Critics Convicted

A lawyer in Swaziland says two government critics there have been found guilty of contempt of court in a case that focused attention on human rights in the landlocked African kingdom.

Sipho Gumedze, a human rights lawyer, says that the two critics - a lawyer and a magazine editor - are considering an appeal.

Lawyer, Thulani Maseko, and Bheki Makhubu, editor of Swaziland's The Nation magazine, have been charged after publishing articles in which they lamented alleged threats to judicial independence.

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