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 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.
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.
A broad range of civil society organisations have called on the South African government to distance themselves from homophobic and unconstitutional comments made by Jerry Matjila, South Africa’s representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Matjila said that to protect gay people, “demeans the legitimate plight of the victims of racism”.
Letter to the High Commissioner for India to South Africa: Our concerns regarding Indian trade negotiations with EU.
This letter explains that the prospect of making new ARVs available in South Africa at affordable prices is under threat because of events unfolding in India. In particular, pressure is being applied by the European Union on the Indian government to sign a bilateral trade agreement that will stifle competition on essential medicines still under patent.
SECTION27 will be offering a new certificate course with the Mandela Institute at Wits University. The course, HIV/AIDS and the Law, is designed to provide practical training for government officials, lawyers, activists, journalists and health care workers to improve their knowledge on current law, policies and guidelines as they relate to HIV and the history and politics of the struggle for recognition of the human rights of people living with HIV. The course will provide learners with a solid foundation on which to analyse and understand the implications of policies and the rights of individuals living with HIV and the possibilities for recourse under the Constitution and the laws of the country.