Disability Rights

SALC’s Disability Rights work is integrated within its other programmatic areas and focuses on the following objectives:

  • To encourage the development and reform of laws and policies in line with the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • To raise awareness of ongoing discrimination of persons with disabilities in the criminal justice system, with a focus on persons with mental disabilities and persons with albinism.
  • To ensure accountability for discrimination of persons with disabilities in healthcare services, including through complaints mechanisms.
  • To ensure access to education for children with disabilities.
  • To support the work towards petty offences and provide evidence to courts on how these offences impact on persons with disabilities.

On-going cases:

Zambia: Constitutional challenge to the Mental Disorders Act.
Malawi: Challenging the constitutionality of the offence of begging with deformities.

Precedent cases:

Malawi: Appeal of discriminatory sentence on basis of accused person’s albinism.

28 Jun 2019 Staff Writer
SALC in the News: ABUSIVE LAWS AND THE FIGHT FOR REFORM...

The AfricanLii Abusive Laws and the fight for reform By Annabel Raw You only have rights if you are a person: How Zambia is legislating away the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities “I cannot accept people to treat me…

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08 Mar 2019 Annabel Raw
NEWS RELEASE: STATEMENT IN SOLIDARITY WITH ZAMBIAN ACTIVISTS CALLING FOR AMENDME...

8 March 2019 Mental health law reform in Zambia is desperately overdue. The outdated Mental Disorders Act [Chapter 305 of the Laws of Zambia] perpetuates discrimination, human rights violations, and abuses against persons with mental disabilities. It denies mental health…

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17 Jan 2019 Annabel Raw
Malawi: Advancing human rights in mental health...

SALC is working with the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) to support the case of an individual subjected to forced psychiatric treatment on the basis of a forensic detention order. The applicant argues that human rights…

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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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13 Jun 2018 Staff Writer
statement: Shining a light on the urgency of implementing the Regional Action Pl...

On 13 June, every year the world commemorates the International Albinism Awareness Day. This year the International Albinism Awareness day is commemorated under the theme ‘shining our light to the world’, providing an opportunity to reflect on progress and challenges…

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23 Mar 2018 Staff Writer
A CALL FOR AN END AND A HOLISTIC RESPONSE TO ATTACKS ON PERSONS WITH ALBINISM: T...

We the undersigned organizations hereby express our deep concern over the continuing attacks on people with albinism in Malawi and generally in the Southern African region. We have taken note of and endorsed the statement issued by the Human Rights…

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14 Dec 2017 Staff Writer
Zambia: Challenging the Mental Disorders Act...

SALC supported a petition by three persons with psychosocial disabilities and the Mental Health Users Network of Zambia (MHUNZA) to repeal the Mental Disorders Act of 1949 in Mwewa and Others v the Attorney General and Others. The Petitioners argued that the Act…

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20 Nov 2017 Staff Writer
NEWS RELEASE: ZAMBIA COURT CALLS FOR REVIEW OF MENTAL HEALTH LAW...

Lusaka - On 17 November, Zambian disability activists from the Mental Health Users Network of Zambia (MHUNZA) and Disability Rights Watch (DRW) held a press conference on the outcome of decision of the Zambian High Court concerning the constitutionality of…

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06 Oct 2017 Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh
2015-2017 BIENNIAL REPORT...

SALC envisions a region in which domestic and regional courts are strong, independent, and fully functional and in which they uphold and enforce the rule of law and human rights. To that end, SALC works with domestic lawyers in each…

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31 Jul 2017 Staff Writer
SALC Research Report: Prosecuting sexual violence against women and girls with d...

This report was prompted by Malawian civil society organisations’ perception that there is a lack of will on the part of police and prosecution to investigate and prosecute cases related to sexual violence committed against women and girls living with…

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24 Jul 2017 Staff Writer
SALC Policy brief: Access to justice for healthcare violations...

In 2016 SALC launched a research report on the extent to which key populations are subjected to discrimination in the healthcare system and their ability to access redress from complaints mechanisms. The research focused on Botswana, Malawi and Zambia. Subsequently,…

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04 Apr 2017 Staff Writer
Workshop Report: Using complaints to address healthcare violations in Zambia...

With funding from the Africa Regional Grant on HIV, SALC hosted workshops in Botswana, Malawi and Zambia on “Using complaints to address healthcare violations”, in reference to SALC’s Guidebook on the same subject. A workshop was held in Zambia on…

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