Human Rights

News : Human Rights

Swaziland:Photojournalist Assaulted While Covering Teachers' Protest

[Swazi Media] A Swaziland journalist was assaulted by marchers as he took photographs at a teachers' protest. (AllAfrica)

Tanzania:Fake Nails and False Eyelashes - the Cost of Beauty

[Citizen] Twenty one days have passed since that infamous ban on beauty enhancement imposed on female Members of Parliament. Speaker of the Tanzanian Parliament, Job Ndugai announced the ban that left female MP's who embelish themselves with artificial finger nails and eyelashes with no access to the Parliament. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:Nurses Flee Health Centre After Abortion for 15-Year-Old

[Monitor] Bududa -Police in Bududa District are hunting two nurses at Bulucheke Health Centre III over accusations that they helped a 15- year-old girl carry out an abortion. (AllAfrica)

South Africa:'I Opened Her Up and Found Her Womb Was Rotten From the Infection'

[Bhekisisa] Obstetrician Eddie Mhlanga often had to attend to women who had unsafe abortions during apartheid, when abortion was illegal in South Africa. (AllAfrica)

Zimbabwe:St John's Deputy Head Resigns After Revealing He's Gay

[The Herald] FOLLOWING a week of fierce debate and a lawsuit threat to the school caused by the disclosure of his sexual orientation to pupils at an assembly, St John's College deputy head (sixth form) Dr Neal Hovelmeier yesterday resigned from his post. (AllAfrica)

Africa:Being Black Twice - Reflections of Young Black Women Workers

[Fahamu] This essay explores the historical consciousness of young workers in South Africa, focusing on young black women workers. It draws on Lucaks ideas on history and class consciousness and Freirean participatory pedagogy to facilitate a critical reflection and dialogue between young Black working women on their memories and perspective of the conditions, realities and experiences of Black working women in colonial, apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:Who Will Fight for Children's Rights?

[Monitor] "Stop beating me," shouted 12-year-old Nabatanzi to her teacher. (AllAfrica)

Southern Africa:Abortion - SA Must Speak Up

[Gender Links] Maseru -"I woke up this morning and a nurse told me that I have been I a comma since I came in," says Ntsoaki* from her bed in Lesotho's only referral hospital. "I don't know where I will go when I leave the hospital. I do not have money to pay and I do not have any clothes with me. I was not trying to abort the baby, I was trying to commit suicide using rat poison because my boyfriend did not want the baby and my mother said she could not support us. Unfortunately for me I survived and only my baby died." (AllAfrica)

South Africa:International Right to Know Day Statement - No to Internet Shutdowns #keepiton!

[R2K] Tomorrow, 28 September 2018, the Right2Know Campaign in solidarity with the people of Southern Cameroons (represented by the Sam Soya Center for Democracy & Human Rights (SSCDHR) will picket at the Pan African Parliament in Midrand to mark the International Right to Know Day. (AllAfrica)

Zimbabwe:Deaf Zimbabwe Trust Moves to Ensure Disability Inclusion

[New Zimbabwe] DEAF Zimbabwe Trust (DZT) has scaled up its fight for the mainstreaming of the deaf in all sectors of human development with the organisation now pursuing an accelerated drive to push various institutions of higher learning to enrol deaf students. (AllAfrica)

Southern Africa:SADC NGOs Call for Safe & Legal Abortion

[Gender Links] On 28 September, International Day of Safe Abortion, organisations across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will join hands to demand safe abortion for women as part of a broader "voice and choice" campaign. (AllAfrica)

Nigeria:#OsunDecides2018 - INEC Disturbed By Actions of Security Agencies in Intimidation of Journalists, Observers

[Premium Times] The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has distanced itself from the controversial conduct of security agencies in the ongoing re-run election in Osun State. (AllAfrica)

Tanzania:Amnesty International Enters Family Planning Debate Fray

[Citizen] Dar es Salaam -A London-based human rights organisation, Amnesty International on Saturday issued a statement urging Tanzania to "remove barriers on family planning services." (AllAfrica)

Zimbabwe:Ex-EU Ambassador Van Damme Backs Gay School Head

[New Zimbabwe] Former EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Phillipe Van Damme has waded into the ongoing uproar over a St John's College deputy headmaster who last week torched a storm by revealing he was gay. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:Janet Museveni Blames Sexual Violence in Schools On Moral Decay

[Monitor] The Minister of Education, Janet Museveni, has blamed the rising cases of sexual violence in schools on moral decadence in the country. (AllAfrica)

Africa:World Contraception Day - Five Easy Family Planning Methods

[Premium Times] On September 26, every year, the world contraception day is celebrated to improve awareness about contraception and help people make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:Kwoyelo Trial Adjourned Over Poorly Translated Charges

[Monitor] Gulu -The trial of former Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) commander Thomas Kwoyelo has suffered yet another setback as a panel of three judges of the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court adjourned the case to November 5. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:Parliament to Investigate Army Brutality

[Monitor] Officers of the Fisheries Protection Force, a section of the UPDF marine brigade, remain under the spotlight for alleged brutality against civilians of the fishing community. (AllAfrica)

Africa:De Beers Group and UN Women Announce Programme to Support More Than 1,200 Women Entrepreneurs

[De Beers Group] Announcement comes on the one year anniversary of De Beers Group's partnership with UN Women as a HeForShe Thematic Champion to stand with women and girls around the world (AllAfrica)

Africa:Ghanaian Company Promoting Gender Equality in Africa's ICT Ecosystem Gets Awarded

[CIO] Women in Tech Africa, a Ghanaian group that focuses on entrepreneurship and career leadership to increase the number of women in technology, received the 2018 Leadership I Award at the EQUALS in Tech Awards, held recently at the Yale Club in New York City, USA. (AllAfrica)

Namibia:Editors Rap Katjavivi Over the Knuckles for Threat On Media

[New Era] The Editors' Forum of Namibia (EFN) has expressed shock and dismay at Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi's threat last week to bar parliamentary journalists from attending sessions. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:Why Govt Should Embark On Unesco Access to Information

[Observer] Ensuring universal access to information is one way of recognition and achievement of every person's civil, political and socioeconomic rights. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:Understanding Key Forms of Violence Against Children

[Observer] Violence against children takes different forms. It is crucial to understand each of them and come up with measures to handle them. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:'I Was Harassed By Land Inquiry Employees'

[Observer] On Friday September 21, 2018 at 12:35pm, Sam-Dick Mukasa an army veteran, received a call from a woman who identified herself as Hildah Namuno from the Land inquiry commission. (AllAfrica)

Africa:UN News Daily Guide - More Major Speeches, Migration and Human Rights, Beating TB

[UN News] On the occasion of the 73rd General Assembly, the UN is hosting a plethora of events with some of the world's most prominent leaders and experts, to set the pace on dozens of critical global topics. To help you navigate and make sure you don't miss out on anything important, UN News has prepared this third daily guide to what's going on. (AllAfrica)

South Africa:Kessie Nair and His K-Word Rant Case Back in Court

[News24Wire] Kessie Nair, the man accused of calling President Cyril Ramaphosa the k-word in a video clip, is expected to apply for bail when he appears in the Verulam Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. (AllAfrica)

Kenya:Worrying Trend As Child Abductions, Killings On the Rise

[Capital FM] Nairobi -The chilling news of abduction and subsequent murder of a nine-year-old girl in Meru, was just another reminder of how Kenyan children are increasingly becoming vulnerable. (AllAfrica)

Africa:Buhari Lauds Mandela's Virtues, Condemns Xenophobia, Discrimination

[Premium Times] President Muhammadu Buhari has commended former South African President Nelson Mandela for his rare virtues, especially in the promotion of peace, unity and reconciliation. (AllAfrica)

Uganda:State Lines 120 Witnesses to Pin Former LRA Commander Kwoyelo

[Monitor] Gulu -The state has lined up 120 witnesses to testify against former Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) commander Thomas Kwoyelo, a three-judge coram of the International Crimes Division (ICD) disclosed yesterday. (AllAfrica)

Africa:K-Pop Band BTS Goes Viral With UN Plea to Young People

[Thomson Reuters Foundation] United Nations -Campaigners have stressed the need for the younger generation to get involved in efforts against discrimination and poverty (AllAfrica)

'Every Year, I Give Birth': Why War is Driving a Contraception Crisis in Sudan

Under a huge baobab tree in Sudan’s Nuba mountains, I met Sebila, a 27-year-old mother of three. In March last year, her village had been attacked by Sudanese ground troops and bombed by government war planes. The assault forced Sebila and many other villagers to flee deeper into rebel-held territory.

She was just back in the village for the day with her children, two toddlers in tow and carrying a baby, to dig up sorghum she had buried. Sebila said food here is scarcer than it has been for years, because of poor rains and conflict fighting. “It’s exhausting, trying to feed them all [my family],” Sebila said of her children.

Aid obstruction in the rebel-held territories of Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile has been in force for nearly six years, and has had a devastating impact on the communities here. For Sebila – and all the women living across these territories – it has meant no access to contraception. “Every year, I give birth,” she told me. “It would be better if I could space it [out].” But Sebila cannot space her babies out, or have any control of her body. Like all women living in rebel-held territory here, she has zero access to contraception.

 In the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, access to family planning and maternal healthcare is severely limited by blocks on humanitarian supplies.

© Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

It has also meant a severe lack of maternal healthcare. There is no local midwife, and Sebila lives five hours’ drive from a hospital, in a region where cars are a rare luxury. Women told me of waiting hours for transport while in obstructed labour, or being held propped up, bleeding and falling in and out of consciousness, between two men on the back of a motorcycle to reach a hospital. Multiple and closely-spaced births can carry serious health risks for both mother and infant, and can be life-threatening without proper treatment.

Yet there is no coordinated international aid effort under way in the Nuba mountains. Funds are in place, but both the government and the rebel group are preventing supplies getting in. The conflict has left already-stretched health services in the region in a pitiful state. Most facilities are little more than a table with some basic medicines, and there are only five doctors and one blood bank for perhaps close to a million people.

Despite many rounds of peace talks since fighting began in 2011, the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North have failed to agree on how to allow aid – needs-based and impartially delivered – into the affected areas. Instead they are still arguing about whether aid can come through a third country, or, as the government insists, only from inside Sudan. Some aid groups have found ways to provide occasional help, unauthorised by the government but supported by the rebels, but this is no substitute for the large-scale effort needed. 

This has very serious consequences for reproductive health. None of the women I met in the Nuba mountains had any access to family planning. One clinic provides a three-month injectable contraception, but local rebel regulations require women to get their husband’s permission first. Despite evidence that gonorrhoea and syphilis are on the rise and hepatitis B common, condoms are scarce. Most of the women I met had never seen a condom, let alone any other form of contraception.

It is also feared that the number of women and girls dying in childbirth in the rebel-held areas of Southern Kordofan – already much higher than other states in Sudan – is rising yet further. And two major aid efforts, including a UN polio vaccination campaign for children, have failed.

Sudan has a long history of aid obstruction going back to the start of the conflict: denying travel permits; rejecting visas; blocking work permits; and expelling aid workers. Meanwhile, citing mistrust of the government, the rebels have still not agreed to an offer by the US to provide aid via Khartoum, and have instead called for yet more negotiations. 

Although aid saves lives, and warring parties in conflict have an obligation to allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians, preventing it from reaching people is rarely punished. The UN security council briefly threatened punitive action against Sudan in 2012, but never acted. The health crisis unfolding in the Nuba mountains should prompt a change of tack. The UN security council, the African Union and the EU should investigate and consider travel bans and asset freezes on rebel and government leaders found to have deliberately blocked such deliveries. 

International aid is often a lifeline to civilians trapped in conflict. And it would help women like Sebila to access contraception, avoid risky childbirth, and feed their children.

(Human Rights Watch)