Rights

Participants on the first day of the Fifth Session on the Conference of States Parties to the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, hosted by the U.N. Sep. 12-14, 2012. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Involuntary Sterilisation Threatens Rights of Disabled Women

In 1996, Maria Mamerita Mestanza Chavez, a 33-year-old Peruvian mother of seven, was threatened with imprisonment if she did not comply with the government policy of undergoing sterilisation. After suffering post-operative complications for which she was refused treatment, Chavez died nine days later.

Forcing South Sudan’s Idle Youth into Farming

Police in South Sudan have begun press-ganging every "idle" youth they can find to provide labour on police farms. The State Police Commissioner in Northern Bahr al Gazal state says young men cannot be left to drink tea and play cards all day while food insecurity threatens the country.


Criticism of Uganda’s Government Leads to Harassment of NGOs

In the face of rising public criticism over a range of controversial political manoeuvres, the Ugandan government has become increasingly hostile to the work of non-governmental organisations, particularly those advocating for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.

Rapes of Young Girls in DRC Still Unpunished

A rash of recent rape cases has sparked local criticism of the weakness of the justice system in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where inadequate resources and simple incompetence mean survivors of sexual violence hold little hope of obtaining justice.

Kenyan Differences Melt With Gold

When Kenyan athlete David Lekuta Rudisha simultaneously became the first person ever to break the 1min 41sec mark in the 800m while also becoming the first person to set a world record at this year’s London Olympics on Thursday Aug. 9, he managed another first. He briefly united an ethnically divided nation.

Malawi Checks China’s African Advance

The move in Malawi to close down Chinese businesses outside of the four major cities has been condemned as xenophobic by rights organisations. A new law enforced Jul. 31 barred foreigners from carrying out trade in Malawi’s outlying and rural areas.

Teachers’ Strike Does Not Mean Political Liberation for Swaziland

Swazis should not see the ongoing nationwide one-month teachers’ strike as a movement capable of overthrowing the political regime here, despite the fact that civil servants and nurses have joined the action, according to political analyst Dr. Sikelela Dlamini.

Israeli Group Maps Palestinian Removals

Sitting in an airconditioned car along Road 60 in the heart of the occupied West Bank, Ovad Arad explained how he goes about his job: driving unannounced into Palestinian towns and villages, taking photographs, having coffee with families, and leaving almost as quickly as he arrived.

Orange Shadow Over Olympics

Agent Orange (AO), often called the ‘last legacy’ of the United States war in Vietnam (1955-1975), has popped up again thanks to its manufacturer Dow Chemical’s controversial sponsorship of the Olympic Games.

Silenced by U.S., Sex Workers Speak from Kolkata

Bare-chested and beaming in the company of many like him, London-based male sex worker Thierry Schaffauser wipes the beads of sweat trickling down his face on a humid Kolkata evening, and slams U.S. President Barack Obama.

Security Gaps Fuel Cote d’Ivoire Prison Escapes

Eliane Negui knew just what to do when she got word that a group of inmates had escaped from Abidjan’s main prison, MACA, earlier this month. After all, the 24-year-old, who has lived across a dirt road from the facility for nine years, had witnessed the same scenario just two months before. 

67 Minutes of Shame on African Icon Nelson Mandela’s Birthday

Wendy Hlophe* is still visibly grieving for her long-term friend, 28-year-old Sanna Supa, who was shot and killed outside her home in Braamficherville, a South African township, two weeks ago.

To Reduce Teen Pregnancies, Start with Educating Girls

Each year, 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth. 50,000 of them die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. And 95 percent of those births occur in developing countries.

A young boy carries ice water on his head in Amakom, Kumasi. Any work that is detrimental to a child

Understanding the Roots of Ghana’s Child Labour

At eleven years old, Thema, a native of Kumasi, hopes to be a nurse when she grows up. Currently, however, she is employed wandering between taxis and tro-tros or minibus taxis at rush hour, carrying packs of ice water on her head and selling them for 10 pesewas apiece. She manoeuvres through traffic in Ghana’s second-largest city with practiced ease; she has been doing this for four years.

‘Israeli Bouazizi’ Raises Questions

During a march Saturday marking one year since social protests engulfed Israel, a man silently set himself on fire, leaving behind him a painful “I accuse!” letter that exposes widespread disillusionment in the face of the immense expectation for change, and the abyss between the people and the State.

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