Health Rights

SALC’s Health Rights programme has the following objectives:

  • To reform laws, policies and practices that contribute to exclusion and discrimination in the enjoyment of health, including laws that undermine the right to informed consent.
  • To remove legal barriers to effective HIV, TB and Malaria treatment, care and prevention.
  • To develop legal protections for the dignity and human rights of people living with HIV, including challenging the unjust and overbroad criminalisation of HIV.
  • To strengthen accountability for discrimination in healthcare settings.
  • To advance the enjoyment of social and environmental determinants of health, particularly for marginalised and vulnerable populations.

On-going cases:

Nigeria: Mandatory HIV testing and dismissal of an employee on the basis of HIV-status.
Zambia: Protecting the health rights of HIV-positive prisoners.
Malawi: Supporting complaints to the Medical Council of Malawi.

Precedent cases:

Malawi: Challenging the criminalisation of breastfeeding by a woman living with HIV.
Zambia: Challenging the Mental Disorders Act of 1949
Botswana: Securing access to antiretroviral treatment for non-citizen prisoners.
Zambia: Challenging mandatory HIV testing of military employees.
Malawi: The right to bail for terminally ill prisoners awaiting trial.
Lesotho: Application for access to healthcare for military detainee.
Malawi: Case challenging unmet palliative care in detention.
Namibia: Coerced sterilisation of HIV-positive women.
Malawi: Mandatory HIV testing of women.
Zimbabwe: Protecting employees living with HIV from unlawful dismissal.

30 Nov 2018 Staff Writer
Official registration of key populations organizations opens doors for funding a...

Local community groups working with populations vulnerable to HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa are making inroads into obtaining official recognition by their governments, which is expanding opportunities for increased funding and ensuring a more substantial, and needed, role in national HIV…

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16 Oct 2018 Annabel Raw
#WFD2018 Stop the Torture by Starvation in Malawi’s Prisons...

By Victor Mhango and Annabel Raw On this World Food Day, the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) call for radical and urgent reform of the prison system to stop…

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12 Oct 2018 Staff Writer

ZOMBA – The Malawi High Court yesterday granted an urgent interim injunction preventing the return of six persons diagnosed with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) to prison. Between August and September, six inmates from Maula and Mzimba Prisons were diagnosed with…

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10 Oct 2018 Annabel Raw
It’s World Mental Health Day: Why aren’t we reforming abusive and discrimina...

By: Annabel Raw In Zambia, as in many countries in the southern Africa region, archaic, colonially-inherited laws are applied to oppress, isolate and abuse persons with psychosocial disabilities and mental health users. Reform is urgently needed. IMAGE: Mental Health Reform…

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09 Oct 2018 Staff Writer

ABUJA – On 26 September 2018, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria set precedent on the rights of people living with HIV in the workplace. In a scathing judgment that condemned the stigma against people living with HIV, the Court…

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08 Oct 2018 Staff Writer
Nigeria: Mandatory HIV Testing and Dismissal of an Employee on the Basis of HIV-...

SALC worked with Lawyers Alert, Nigeria to challenge the mandatory HIV testing of an employee of a security company and his subsequent dismissal on the basis of his HIV-status, in X v Brink and Others. The applicant, Mr X, was an employee…

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