SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
On 15 July 2010, SECTION27, incorporating the AIDS Law Project and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) made a joint submission on the draft Constitution Nineteenth Amendment Bill and the Superior Courts Bill to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
The Bills propose establishing a single judiciary with the Constitutional Court as the apex court for all legal matters. The submission focuses primarily on the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court; the regulation of the terms of office of judges of the Constitutional Court; and the expansion of the mandate of the Judicial Service Commission.
On Monday 5th July Mark Heywood, the director of SECTION27, was one of the keynote speakers at the launch of China’s first ever forum between the Chinese government and civil society representatives to talk about human rights issues linked to HIV/AIDS. The China Red Ribbon Beijing Forum as it is known was opened by the Vice Minister of Health, Yin Li, UNAIDS and a person living with HIV. Heywood spoke on the importance of engagement between government and civil society on issues of human rights.
The Southern African HIV Clinicians Society and the Treatment Action Campaign support the implementation of a country-wide voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) programme. Male medical circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual men contracting HIV and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Despite the effectiveness of VMMC, it is essential that circumcised men are encouraged to continue using condoms during sexual intercourse.
HIV/AIDS and the Law is intended to be a practical training course for lawyers, activists and journalists on law in South Africa as it relates to people living with HIV. The course will cover the nature, history and extent of HIV and how to apply legal and policy processes to people living with HIV/AIDS in the areas of Human rights; the Constitution; Employment law; Social assistance and insurance; Access to health care services; Criminal, civil and public impact litigation.
Measuring changes in HIV incidence is key to evaluating the effectiveness of prevention interventions – including the provision of antiretroviral treatment (ART), which has been shown to reduce transmission – as well as for quantifying the need for future services, which is important for planning and budgeting.