Homophobic attacks and harassment across sub-Saharan Africa are becoming more visible, indicating that homophobia is reaching dangerous levels, Amnesty International said today as it launched a comprehensive report documenting the discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) people on the continent. Making Love a Crime: Criminalization of same-sex conduct in sub-Saharan Africa looks at how “homosexual acts” are being increasingly criminalized across Africa as a number of governments seek to impose draconian penalties or broaden the scope of existing laws, including by introducing the death penalty.
Washington: Advocacy groups here are urging U.S. President Barack Obama to focus on more than just economic development during his upcoming trip to Africa. They are also hoping that the state visits will be able to turn the tide on years of U.S. engagement with Africa only through the lens of security and counter-terrorism. Starting Wednesday, Obama will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania on what will be his second trip to the continent as president. His advisors say he hopes to focus on increasing trade, investments and other economic opportunities.
Washington: Thank you for inviting me to discuss the situation in Ethiopia since the death in August 2012 of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Post-Meles Ethiopia presents the United States with a significant opportunity to encourage Ethiopia to improve its human rights record, liberalize its economy, and provide increased space for opposition parties and civil society organizations. Post-Meles Ethiopia also presents a significant challenge since Ethiopia plays an important role in advancing regional integration and mitigating regional conflict in Somalia and Sudan. Our partnership with Ethiopia balances these interests by focusing on democracy, governance, and human rights; economic growth and development; and regional peace and security.
In an article written for Foreign Affairs in 1993, then ANC leader and soon to be President Nelson Mandela articulated the foreign policy position of the ANC in a post-apartheid South Africa. His forward looking description stated: “that issues of human rights are central to international relations and an understanding that they extend beyond the political, embracing the economic, social and environmental; that just and lasting solutions to the problems of humankind can only come through the promotion of democracy worldwide; that considerations of justice and respect for international law should guide the relations between nations; that peace is the goal for which all nations should strive, and where this breaks down, internationally agreed and nonviolent mechanisms…. That the concerns and interests of the continent of Africa should be reflected in our foreign policy choices…’
Pretoria: I would like to reassure refugees here today of our admiration and support for your strength and resilience in the face of huge adversity. It’s a source of shame to us that you are at risk in the face of anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner sentiment. Our brothers and sisters on the African continent played an important role in the achievement of democracy and freedom in South Africa. They extended hospitality and asylum to many of our exiled leaders and their families during the oppression of apartheid. The frontline states of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Lesotho, Zambia, Tanzania and Botswana paid an even higher price for supporting the anti-apartheid struggle. Many of their citizens perished in raids into their territories by the apartheid security forces.
New York: The evolving nature and tactics of conflict are creating unprecedented threats for children, United Nations officials told the Security Council on Monday, stressing that despite progress in protecting youngsters during war, dangerous new trends are making them even more vulnerable. “As new conflicts emerged or deepened in the course of the past 18 months, children continued to pay a heavy toll, perhaps the heaviest,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui said in her presentation to the Council of the Secretary-General’s 12th annual report on the subject.
Mchinji: Director of Children Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare McKnight Kalanda says it is everyone's responsibility to protect children involved in child labour if the practice is to be eradicated completely. Kalanda said this recently at Nthema Primary School ground at Kapiri trading centre in Mchinji, during the commemoration of world day against child labour, under the theme 'no child labour in domestic work.' He said child labour is still rampant in the country despite efforts to deal with it by many organisations.
Stellenbosch: In a recent survey conducted by consumer insights company Pondering Panda, it was found that young South Africans were most likely to feel that foreigners living and working here had a negative impact on the country, with fewer than 1 in 4 approving of foreign workers. 1845 respondents, between the ages of 18 and 34, were interviewed across South Africa, and asked about their opinion of foreigners in SA. The survey found that 42% felt foreigners were bad for South Africa, compared to 28% who said their presence made no difference, and 24% who believed they had a positive impact on the country.
New York: An independent United Nations human rights expert has stressed the need to hold States accountable not only for investigating acts of violence against women but also for failing to prevent such violence. Despite numerous developments, violence against women remains “endemic” and the lack of accountability for violations experienced by women is the rule rather than the exception in many countries, Rashida Manjoo, the Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, said in a report presented to the Human Rights Council last week.
Durban: South Africa’s great cause at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is social and economic rights. The South African government believes Western nations in particular put too much emphasis on political and civil rights – sometimes referred to as first generation human rights – at the expense of socio-economic rights, sometimes referred to as second generation rights, which it regards as at least equal. This basic philosophical position has often put South Africa at odds with Western countries in human rights debates, not only in the Human Rights Council but elsewhere in the UN. And yet, oddly, South Africa has never ratified the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “a key international treaty” that commits governments that adopt it “to address challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty, which are critical to the strategic goals of governments”.