Tag Archives: human rights

The technology that is threatening life as we know it

We are currently witnessing a pervasive and accelerating recording, modelling and processing of data pertaining to human beings as well as other living species (and even inorganic things) on a scale that surpasses what most of us can imagine. This has been made possible by bio-technologies which seem as if they are the incipient actualisation…

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Trump’s global gag rule puts safe abortion in jeopardy

In his first week as President of the United States of America, Donald Trump has demonstrated a callous disregard for women’s rights by reinstating and extending the so-called global gag rule, a policy which will prevent all organisations receiving US foreign aid for health from including abortion referrals or information within their programmes. Not only…

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Where is the wealth Malema wants to redistribute?

In a conversation about South Africa’s socio-economic malaise with a thoughtful sociologist from abroad, he asked the burning question that is shaping South African politics: “where is the wealth?” We talk often in South Africa about wealth redistribution, black economic empowerment and socio-economic rights. Our constitution at the outset sketches a socially just society as…

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Swazi court strikes the balance between protecting freedom of expression and national security

Last Friday, the Swaziland High Court handed down a significant judgment on the rights to freedom of expression in the context of the protection of national security. The court struck down a number of provisions in the Sedition and Subversive Activities and Suppression of Terrorism Acts on the grounds that they unjustifiably limited the rights…

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The undignified existence of black women

By Sandile Tshabalala Black women remain the most vulnerable to the endless socioeconomic realities of our society. In spite of this, we cannot ignore the existence of wealthy, motivated and healthy women. It is imperative to grapple with the right to “human dignity” afforded to all South Africans but barely enjoyed by ordinary black women,…

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Deals at high levels that don’t deliver for the people

By Donné Cameron This is turning out to be a big week of big deals; first Greece, now Iran and very soon Addis. I am writing from within a bubble, albeit a loud bubble, of bureaucracy in the middle of downtown Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the UN has chosen to host people to talk about…

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Fighting TB with prisoners’ rights

By Annabel Raw Today is World Tuberculosis Day, commemorating the discovery of the cause of the disease in 1882. Tuberculosis (TB) is an ancient disease with traces in human remains being recorded since antiquity. Despite advances in public health and treatment, today TB continues to claim over one and a half million lives every year,…

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What ‘war’ means today

When picking up Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Multitude – War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (Penguin, 2006), again, in the light of recent developments across the globe involving Syria, Isis, Boko Haram and al-Qaeda (to mention only some of the names associated with war), I was struck, anew, by their astute identification…

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Human rights and desire: The need for a clear conscience

We live in the age of the unquestioned assumption of human rights — that is, the assumption that all human beings are entitled to certain “basic human rights”. This is accepted as normal, or setting the norm, and this is unquestionably correct, at least in the sense of being an accepted convention. However, the discipline…

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Global freedom in retreat?

Following the collapse of communism, Francis Fukuyama famously asserted that humankind was on the threshold of “the end of history”. By this, he meant that humanity’s sociocultural evolution was poised to resolve itself in a general acceptance of the principles of Western liberal democracy as the basis of government. This he spelled out in his…

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