Realising the right to health for children with HIV/AIDS in Botswana: Policy based approach v rights based approachPosted: 13 August, 2013 Filed under: Rashid Dumbuya | Tags: African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of a Child, Botswana, children, Children's Act, constitution, Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), HIV/Aids, ICESCR, mother-to-child transmission, public health, Public Health Act, right to health, South Africa, TAC, Treatment Action Campaign 1 Comment
Author: Rashid Dumbuya
LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) candidate, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Barrister and Solicitor, Sierra Leone
Botswana faces significant challenges on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. According to the third Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (BAIS III) which took place in 2008, 17.6% of Batswana were living with HIV/AIDS. The survey revealed that about 18 000 children below the age of 19 were HIV positive.
Strong political commitment at national level has however resulted in impressive scale up in HIV treatment for children under the Prevention of Mother-to-child Transmission programme. Children are currently treated in about 33 centres issuing antiretroviral drugs. However, Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence provides a more in-depth pediatric content. There are also community-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Child Line, Mpule Kwelagobe Centre, SOS Children’s Home and Paolo Zanichelli Children’s Centre that are currently providing specialised services to vulnerable children. It is however important to point out that, in Botswana, the needs of HIV/AIDS affected children are not provided for in a comprehensive National legal framework. Care and treatment for children with HIV is currently addressed in overall HIV policy guidelines.
Strengthening children’s rights in Africa: Some lessons from the new Children’s Act of AngolaPosted: 4 June, 2013 Filed under: Aquinaldo Mandlate | Tags: Africa, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), Angola, basic education, children, children's rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), culture, food, juvenile justice, life expectancy, literacy, Mozambique, nutrition, socio-economic rights, sports, violence against children 2 Comments
Author: Aquinaldo Mandlate
LLD (UWC), LLM (UP) Licenciatura em Direito (UCM)
On 22 August 2012, Angola enacted a new Children’s Act, adding to the number of African countries (including South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Lesotho, and many others) which reviewed their legislation focusing on children’s rights. Angolan law, like many other recent African legislation on children, is comprehensive and detailed in multiple aspects of children’s rights. Some of its features are common in other similar instruments in the region. For instance, it protects children’s civil and political rights and their socio-economic rights. The right to life, the right to health and the right to basic education, amongst others are protected. In addition, the law entrenches the four principles forming the core of international and regional treaties dealing with children’s rights (the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) included), including the principles of non-discrimination (Article 2 of the CRC and Article 3 of the ACRWC), best interest of the child (Article 3 of the CRC and Article 4 of the ACRWC), the right to life survival and development (Article of the 6 CRC and Article 5 of the ACRWC), and the right of the child to participate (Article 12 CRC and Article 7 of the ACRWC). These principles are also part and parcel of other modern African child legislation.
A detailed account of the similarities between the Angolan Children’s Act and other instruments falls beyond the objectives of this contribution. However, I would like to highlight some of the major contributions (amongst others not discussed here) as a result of the Act, in efforts to advance children’s rights.