Sonke Newsletter – April 2018
Civil society organisations call for an independent investigation into UNAIDS’ mishandling of sexual harassment allegations
Sonke, TAC and Section27 are deeply concerned by the handling of sexual harassment allegations made by Martina Brostrom against former UNAIDS Assistant Secretary General Luiz Loures. We expect UNAIDS to handle such allegations, and its internal and external communications surrounding such allegations, with seriousness, urgency, and respect for the dignity of the persons involved.
REFUGEE HEALTH & RIGHTS
Despite the Supreme Court of Appeal ordering the Department of Home Affairs to re-open the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office to new asylum seekers, it has remained closed. Asylum seekers like Sifa, who left Burundi because the policeman who killed her father wanted to force her into marriage, must travel 1923km from Cape Town to Musina in order to apply for their permit. “If the Refugee Reception Office opens in Cape Town it would be much easier for us,” says Sifa. Watch her story here and join our call to #OpenTheRRO.
The Global Gag Rule (GGR) has far-reaching and harmful effects. These have already been felt, writes Sonke’s Marlise Richter in South Africa’s the Sunday Independent. “One of Sonke’s partners ran a clinic in an urban centre. Because of the GGR, it was forced earlier this year to close its doors. For years, the clinic provided sexual and reproductive health services to about 2000 women each year.” Read this important article in full.
Despite the groundbreaking court victory of 5 December 2016 when the Western Cape High Court found the government to be in breach of its constitutional obligations to detain inmates in conditions consistent with human dignity, there has been no visible increase in regular prison visits by judicial officers. Here are eight reasons why every judicial officer should be visiting at least one South African prison a year. Published in the Huffington Post South Africa.
Addressing the impact of the Rwandan genocide, one of the most gruesome the world has witnessed, has required the country to delve into the root cause of the conflict in order to address the issues of identity, justice, peace and security, writes Sonke’s Mpiwa Mangwiro in the City Press Online.
The criminalisation of sex work in South Africa enables an environment where sex workers are subject to numerous human rights violations, including discrimination, harassment, and abuse at the hands of police officers. This research report explores humans rights challenges across two South African provinces.
What we’re reading
“Hunger is driving violence and entrenching the social divides created by apartheid, as under-nourished children are unable to catch up to their peers.”
HEALTH & PLACE
“Social cohesion, the trust and connectedness experienced in communities, has been associated with improved sexual health and HIV-related outcomes, but little research has been conducted in high prevalence settings.”
“Fathers who have close, nonviolent relationships with their children and who share in the child care and chores can help raise sons who are more supportive of gender equality.”