rights

Court Hears Arguments in ARV Treatment Case

The Botswana High Court in Gaborone will on Thursday, 12 June 2014, hear arguments in a case challenging the government's refusal to provide antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to foreign prisoners.
 
Two foreign HIV-positive prisoners and the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) have taken government to court, arguing that the country’s policy of denying ARV treatment to foreign prisoners living with HIV is unlawful and unconstitutional.
 

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."

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.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.
 

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