Respect Prisoners’ Human Rights

Prisoners“Calling on Governments to Respect Prisoners’ Human Rights and Unite to End TB.” -Communique from ARASA

According to the World Health Organisation, Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide and is the leading cause of death amongst people living with HIV: In 2015, 1.8 million people died from TB. In many African countries, prison conditions violate peoples’ human rights in a manner that exacerbates vulnerabilities to infection with and death from TB.

On this World TB day, the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), ENDA Santé, the Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN), and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), call on African governments to respect prisoners’ human rights and unite to end TB.

TB in prisons

Globally, studies estimate that TB rates are between 5-50 times higher in prisons than in the general population. Cases of TB in prisons can account for 25% of a country’s TB burden.

“Prison conditions in the region provide near-perfect conditions for the spread of TB. Overcrowding, inadequate access to healthcare services, poor nutrition and sanitation in prisons are not only violations of human rights – these conditions also increase the spread of TB,” says Daouda Diouf, Executive Director of Enda Santé.

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Know Your Rights: Participation

Participation is a human rightKnow Your Rights: Participation is a simple title for this blog, but a difficult task in reality.
To learn about your rights is essential, although it’s not easy to do. Human rights are not taught in schools, most parents don’t teach their children and employers don’t usually inform their workers about their rights. Those in ‘the know’ rarely try to share the knowledge, or help folks in the community to understand what are their rights and how to claim them.

Since 1945, the United Nations has been at the centre of developing human rights as the cornerstone for peace, development and security around the world. While it has delivered a number of important conventions and protocols, it has not been successful in explaining how these words on paper can be used on the ground.

One of these days we will be able to bring a few folks from different communities together to put various UN documents into more accessible languages. Finding information is one step, being able to get-it, learn-it, and spread-it around is another. In the meantime, here’s one of the UN’s better definitions that I found for ‘Participation’.

What does the principle of participation mean?

Participation means ensuring that national stakeholders have genuine ownership and control over development processes in all phases of the programming cycle: assessment, analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

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