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 Jane is a young Zambian mother with a physical disability in Lusaka, who uses a wheelchair to get around. She does not let clinics without ramps or without wheelchair accessible toilets and equipment stop her from claiming her right to health care,…
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People say, someone who has a disability should not indulge in sex,’ Inocente, a blind man in his 40s, told a Human Rights Watch researcher in Zambia. This is a widely held view in the country, where stigma regarding the sexuality of people with…
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Remove Barriers to HIV Education, Testing, and Treatment

(Lusaka) – The nearly two million people with disabilities in Zambia face significant barriers to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While the Zambian government has made considerable progress…
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Government, Chinese State-Owned Subsidiaries Make Uneven Progress

(Johannesburg) – Workers in the copper mining sector in Zambia remain vulnerable to abuse. New Human Rights Watch research found that the government of President Michael Sata, who promised to prioritize labor rights when he took office in September 2011,…
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NEW YORK — “People look at disabled people and think they don’t have sex. We have sex. And we can be infected with HIV.” John Meletse is a deaf, gay, and HIV-positive South African. When he went to get tested for HIV in 2001, the clinic staff couldn’t…
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When I went to college, I chose a highly regarded university with a strong tradition as a Jesuit institution. I was pleased with my undergraduate education at Boston College, but I still lament that my alma mater denies students access to contraceptive…
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Today is World AIDS Day, and the theme this year is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights.’ Zambia is ahead of much of the world on the first half of this theme: In August 2005 the Ministry of Health pledged to provide free antiretroviral medicine to all who…
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Government Should Investigate and Hold Perpetrators Accountable

(New York) - The Zambian police routinely engage in cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, including torture, to extract confessions, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should investigate, discipline those found to be implicated, and train…
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In 1988, while Nelson Mandela was in prison, he contracted tuberculosis (TB). TB is common in prisons, with overcrowded cells and poor ventilation facilitating transmission. Mandela is now long free, but TB remains a threat to all prisoners - and to all…
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International AIDS Conferences — like the one planned for next week in Vienna — can be strange affairs. On the one hand, there is a reason to celebrate: Scaled up treatment campaigns have prolonged millions of lives; HIV testing and education are reaching…
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Zambia's policy of free universal HIV treatment and wide availability of tuberculosis drugs show an impressive commitment to public health. But an important group has been left out in Zambia's fight against these diseases-prisoners. Prisoner health is…
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The news of the opening of a hospital-based crisis center in Kabwe, Zambia, to address the complex needs of women survivors of sexual and gender-based violence was music to my ears; given that in 2007 I listened to heart-wrenching accounts by Zambian…
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The plight of children in Kenya who fall prey to HIV/Aids

20-month-old Daniel is sitting on his grandmother’s lap in a small house in Nyangoma village, Western Kenya. His body is periodically shaken by a violent cough, and he looks tired and weak. Daniel (not his real name) is HIV-positive and suspected to…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…
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The Human Rights Council reviewed Zambia’s report under its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism in Geneva last Friday (9 May), and adoption of the report took place this week on Wednesday (14 May). Here in Lusaka, women, including those who…
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Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

Gender-Based Abuses in the Context of HIV In Zambia, where 17 percent of the adult population is living with HIV/AIDS, women face grave gender-based abuses, in particular domestic violence, which hinder their ability to access or continue using life-…
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As the international Aids conference continues in Barcelona, there is a special and urgent need to protect young girls and women from HIV infection

Aids in Africa ravages millions of lives, those infected as well as those affected. Increased international mobilization, particularly the XIV International Conference on AIDS in Barcelona, is crucial, but one acutely vulnerable group continues to suffer…
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(New York) — Trade ministers at the upcoming WTO summit in Doha, Qatar should abandon threats of sanctions against countries trying to obtain medicines for health emergencies such as HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Watch said today. The WTO summit will take place…