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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
South Africa is increasingly failing to report to the UN international treaty monitoring bodies, prompting the UN Human Rights Committee to take the exceptional measure of reviewing South Africa in respect of its performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) without receiving an input from the government. It has not submitted […]
Having lived in China for seven years I have my own kind of sorrow, mixed with the tenderness of memory when I see a small Christian community deep inside China harassed for their faith. The leader, pastor Zhang, was imprisoned for 12 years and his family was in danger of losing their lives before making […]
There is a pressing need for southern democracies to reclaim the human-rights narrative from the strategic imperatives of traditionally powerful western governments. While the ability of India, Brazil and South Africa to emerge as moral voices from the south is not in doubt, their willingness to take the global centre-stage on human rights is certainly […]
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu has suspended Australian mining company Mintails’ operations in Kagiso on the west rand after community members embarked on protests citing serious environmental, safety and health violations and structural damage to their houses as a result of the mine’s operations in close proximity to their homes. Media for Justice reports that […]
Although the numbers are disputed, South Africa and Germany are among the States Parties to the 1951 Refugee Convention that receive the most asylum applications in the world. It is interesting, then, to compare the legal frameworks that both countries apply to asylum seekers. The most striking difference is that, in South Africa, asylum seekers […]
I’m one of the many Android users who recently installed the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) application on their phone. Big deal. Doing this as I did, however, on the day Germany and Brazil were introducing a draft resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age at the UN General Assembly, I found myself confronting […]
Last week’s Constitutional Court ruling decriminalising consensual sexual relationships between teens was met with moralising outrage across the country. Sensationalist media fanned the flames of indignation by failing to contextualise the law’s effect on teen sexual relations – including rape.
Under the impugned sections 15 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act (SOA) teenage rape survivors, especially girls, run the risk of being criminally charged for being raped.
It is one year to the day that the Marikana massacre unfolded on the Wonderkop koppie and was witnessed on national television. The trauma of this spectacle still hangs heavy in the air for many who are unable to make any sense of this heinous occurrence, because there is no making sense of it. There […]