The impact of Internet shutdowns in AfricaPosted: 21 February, 2019 Filed under: Tomiwa Ilori | Tags: ACHPR, Africa, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Governments, Arab-spring, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), digital rights, Egypt, electoral malpractices, Freedom of Expression And Access to Information, general elections, ICCPR, ICESCR, internet, internet shutdown, Johannesburg Principles on National Security, national security, public protests, shutdown, Siracusa Principles, state power, Sudan, technology, violations, Zimbabwe 1 Comment
Author: Tomiwa Ilori
LLD Candidate, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
In the past, authoritarianism like any other form of illegitimacy has always been paranoid of disruptions. The internet, since its decentralisation in the last century, has blurred boundary lines, projected a classless society and looked to upset apple carts in political spaces. It is typical that this form of “magic” that could redefine state power rattled many governments. African governments soon began to show overt signs of paranoia and not too long, Africa became the first continent to experience an internet shutdown in Egypt on 28 January 2011. Since then, several governments in Africa have constantly violated digital rights with the justification of national security which supposes that both are mutually exclusive.
The impact of state surveillance and censorship of sexuality on the lives of LGB Ethiopians living in Addis AbabaPosted: 28 January, 2019 Filed under: Selamawit Tsegaye Lulseged | Tags: Addis Ababa, African Charter, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, censorship, constitution, constitutional ban, Criminal Code, discrimination, eroticism, Ethiopia, FDRE, hegemony, hetero-normative, human rights, ICCPR, ICESCR, imprisonment, International Bill of Rights, LGB, Penal Code, same-sex, same-sex sexual act, sexual minority rights, sexuality Leave a comment
Author: Selamawit Tsegaye Lulseged
African Union Human Rights Observers Mission in Burundi (formerly)
Dialogue regarding same-sex sexual act and eroticism is a recent phenomenon in Ethiopia. As is true for most African countries, in Ethiopia, there is a strong heterosexual culture that bases its legitimacy on the hegemony of masculinity. The social construction is based on the values of family that depends on traditional gender role and religious dogmas. In many discourses, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals are mentioned in relation to pedophilia, mental sickness and people who chose deviant sexual behavior. Thus, same-sex sexuality is not only something that is pushed under the rug, but also subjected to state scrutiny and embargo.
The right to health for refugees in South Africa: Concrete reality or wishful thinking?Posted: 13 December, 2017 Filed under: Cristiano d'Orsi | Tags: 2003 National Health Act, African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, CEDAW, domestic law, health services, healthcare services, ICERD, ICESCR, National Strategic Health Plan, OHCHR, political rights, refugee convention, refugees, right to health, right to health care, SAHRC, socio-economic rights, South Africa, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, xenophobia 1 Comment
Author: Cristiano d’Orsi
Research Fellow and Lecturer at the South African Research Chair in International Law (SARCIL), University of Johannesburg
Scope of the study: How the ‘right to health’ is intended in this work
South Africa (SA) is one of the largest economies in Africa. Since December 2010 the country is a member of the informal association of five major emerging world economies (BRICS) and the only African country to be a member of the G20, the major international forum for economic cooperation and policymaking.
At the end of 2016, SA was reported to be hosting 91,043 refugees.
Although SA has ratified a good number of human rights legal instruments since the end of apartheid, in 1994, , the actual implementation of the rights enshrined in some of them still remain problematic. One such right is the right of refugees to have access to adequate healthcare in the country.
This situation occurs also because access healthcare services in SA, as with many other fundamental rights in the republic, has historically been biased in terms of a number of arbitrary grounds (p. 55).
People with mental disabilities ALSO have the right to marry in KenyaPosted: 28 May, 2014 Filed under: William Aseka | Tags: African Union Commission on International Law, Constitution of Kenya, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD, equality, ICCPR, ICESCR, international law, Kenya, Marriage Act, Marriage Bill, mental disabilities, non-discrimination, polygamous marriages, right to marry 3 Comments
Author: William Aseka
Human Rights Fellow at Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University
The Marriage Bill (now Act) 2014 has elicited different reactions from Kenyans. Some mostly women, have argued that the law will allow men to engage in polygamous marriages. Some have hailed the law as consolidating the different types of marriages into one piece of legislation. However, the people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities have completely been left out of this debate. The law clearly discriminates and expressly denies people with mental disorders from exercising their right to marry. Section 11(2)(b) of the Marriage Act 2014 provides:-
Consent is not freely given where the party who purports to give it is suffering from any mental disorder or mental disability whether permanent or temporary…
The Act further provides in section 73 that if one suffers from ‘recurrent bouts of insanity’ then the partner is allowed to have the marriage annulled. This essay seeks to argue that the Marriage Act 2014 not only violates Kenya’s obligation under international law but also violates the Constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 27(4), which proscribes discrimination based on disability.
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.
Right to food: A ‘black and white’ choice?Posted: 25 April, 2013 Filed under: Bereket Kefyalew | Tags: ACHPR, Africa, African Commission, CEDAW, civil society, Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), CRC, democracy, Ethiopia, food security, human rights, ICCPR, ICESCR, NGOs, right to food, UDHR 3 Comments
Author: Bereket Kefyalew
Freelancer based in Copenhagen, Denmark
The Ethiopian government often associates its developmental ideology with the East Asian model, while at the same time defining itself as a progressive democratic government. Paradoxically, the government defends itself from prodemocracy critics by arguing that food security comes first, then slowly comes democracy. Within this context, I analyse the right to food as a legal concept and how it can be used as a means to achieve food security in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has ratified and adopted the main instruments establishing the right to food such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Covenant on the Rights of the Child; the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women; and the African Charter on Peoples’ Rights. Ethiopia is also bound by international humanitarian law, having ratified the Geneva Convention of 1999 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977.