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, tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria treatment, care and prevention.
  • To develop legal protections for the dignity and human rights of people living with HIV and TB, 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:

Malawi: Seeking an effective and humane response to MDR-TB in prison
Malawi: Enforcing prisoners’ right to adequate nutrition.
Malawi: Advancing human rights in mental health
Zambia: Protecting the health rights of HIV-positive prisoners.

Precedent cases:

Nigeria: Mandatory HIV testing and dismissal of an employee on the basis of HIV-status.
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.

03 Jun 2019 Annabel Raw
Linking Climate, Gender and HIV Justice: A Preliminary Report on Access to HIV T...

This is a preliminary report on barriers to access to HIV treatment and care experienced by communities living in and around the Lake Chilwa area in Malawi. A fact-finding mission was undertaken in August 2018 by the Coalition of Woman…

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05 Apr 2019 Staff Writer
News Release: Malawi High Court upholds the rights of detained pregnant learners...

In April 2019, the High Court of Malawi, sitting at Mzuzu, in the case of ON and 13 Others v Child Protection Team issued a judgment reviewing the decision of a First Grade Magistrate to impose fines on learners and…

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08 Mar 2019 Annabel Raw

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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30 Jan 2019 Staff Writer
Media Advisory: Malawi High Court to decide on interim order preventing detentio...

Zomba, Malawi – On Wednesday 30 January 2019, the Malawi High Court, will hear argument on an interim application to prevent prisoners with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) from being returned to prison. In October 2018, the Zomba High Court granted six…

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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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17 Jan 2019 Annabel Raw
Malawi: Seeking an effective and humane response to MDR-TB in prison...

SALC is working with the Centre for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) to support the case of six inmates seeking an effective and humane response to an outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the prisons in Malawi. Between…

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