Human Rights

SACSIS embraces a rights based approach to development, which views poverty as a denial of human rights.

The Eternal Rebel: Ronnie Kasrils

Picture credit: Ronnie Kasrils courtesy links.org.au. Chris Hedges - NEW YORK—What is it that makes a rebel? Why does one willingly step outside society to destroy a system of power, break the law and risk persecution and even death for an ideal? As the state calcifies into corporate totalitarianism, as prominent rebels such as Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are defamed by a bankrupt media and political class and hunted down as criminals, as change through the established mechanisms of reform becomes impossible, as systems of power...

Is Black Consciousness Still Relevant?

Picture credit: Steve Biko, a leader of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa in the 60 Mandisi Majavu - Although recent newspaper reports that the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) and the Socialist Party of Azania (Sopa) are to merge ought to be welcomed by those of Black Consciousness (BC) tradition, the fact of the matter is that the BC tradition in South Africa is intellectually stuck in the 20th century. According to the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM), proponents of the BC tradition have not been able to rethink BC politics for a new situation. The new situation being...

One Company Has Enormous Power in the Breast Cancer 'Market' - and Their Pricey Test Could Be Costing Lives

Picture credit: Angelina Jolie courtesy Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Irin Carmon - Angelina Jolie's op-ed about her approach to mitigating breast cancer risk helped a company's stock value rise 4%. Is that what medicine is really about? Times today has focused on her decision to undergo a double mastectomy after learning she carried the BRCA1 gene. As Salon noted here, that’s not the only option. But for those who do want to consider following Jolie’s path, there are structural barriers to even gaining the information to make those choices, something she...

Speaking to Power: Civil Society Holding International Donors Accountable

Picture credit: blogs.spectator.co.uk Alexander O'Riordan - Inclusive Development, a tiny California based NGO that lists only three advisors on its website, managed to do what many larger organisations or governments failed to do: hold donors to account for their potential complicity in human rights abuses. In 2010, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that aid to Ethiopia was being used in a political manner – as a reward to those that supported the ruling party and as coercion for those critical of the ruling elite. The report, while well...

Taking back Our Pride

Picture credit: Joburg Pride 2010 courtesy la4ko/Flickr. Gillian Schutte - Joburg Pride has closed it doors, shut down, is no longer in business. They obliquely lay the blame at the feet of the One in Nine Campaign in what seems like a disingenuous bid to garner sympathy and demonise the campaigners, rather than shifting their focus to a more progressive and inclusionary agenda.   Joburg Gay Pride Festival Company (JGPFC) released their statement of intent on April 3rd, the day after the One in Nine Campaign announced a public meeting, which they...

The Other Side of Silence

Picture credit: Salvador Allende and Pablo Neruda courtesy Library of the Chilean National Congress/Wikimedia. Richard Pithouse - “If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.” - George Elliot, Middlemarch, 1874 The Economist recently celebrated Margaret Thatcher for her “willingness to stand up to tyranny”. For Barack Obama she was "one of the great champions of freedom and liberty". This is, plainly, what her old friend...