rights

R2K Criticises Police Over Mothutlung Deaths

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."
 

Group to Challenge Anti-Gay Laws

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.
 

Call for the Decriminalisation of Prostitution

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."
 

CASAC Slams Police for Shooting Protestors

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.
 

Ailing Economy Fuels Child Labour - UNICEF

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.

NGO Warns on Fracking in Botswana

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.

WTO Urged to Address Food Security Needs

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."

ZANU-PF Criticised Over Diamond Fight

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.

Swaziland’s Terrorism Law Criticised

Rights groups in Swaziland have called for the amendment of a terrorism law they view is aimed at silencing opposition.
 
According to Voice of America, an external broadcasting institution of the United States, activists expressed concern over the 15 arrests made under the Suppression of Terrorism Act in the last two months, with detainees being beaten up and given death threats.
 
The groups believe there is a need to amend the act in order to open up freedom of expression.

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