Health Rights

SALC’s Health Rights programme has the following objectives:

  • To strengthen accountability for discrimination in health care settings, including by improving the responsiveness of complaints mechanisms.
  • To remove legal barriers to effective HIV, TB and Malaria treatment, care and prevention.
  • To develop jurisprudence to ensure that the dignity and human rights of people living with HIV are respected and protected.
  • To challenge laws, policies and practices which contribute to exclusion and discrimination, including laws which criminalise HIV transmission and which ignore the principles of informed consent in health care provision.
  • To support the disability rights programme and criminal justice programme to ensure improved health care for persons with disabilities and persons in police custody and detention.

On-going cases:

Nigeria: Case challenging unlawful HIV testing and dismissal on the basis of HIV status.
Zimbabwe: Case challenging non-consensual disclosure of nurse’s HIV status and subsequent dismissal.
Malawi: Complaint regarding negligent death of a woman in labour.
Zambia: Case challenging prison conditions and provision of adequate food for prisoners with HIV.
Zambia: Challenging the Mental Disorders Act.

Precedent cases:

Malawi: Appeal of conviction of woman living with HIV for reckless act ‘likely to spread a disease’ after she breastfed a child.
Zambia: Challenging mandatory HIV testing of military employees.
Botswana: Challenging the refusal to provide antiretrovirals to foreign prisoners.
Malawi: Challenging refusal to grant bail for terminally ill remandees.
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.


09 Oct 2017 Staff Writer
Training Application: Lawyers for HIV & TB Justice...

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), HIV Justice Worldwide, Stop TB Partnership, the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), and the Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN) are hosting a training for lawyers…

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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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29 Aug 2017 Staff Writer
Zambia: Challenging the Mental Disorders Act of 1949...

SALC is supporting 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 argue that the…

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25 Jul 2017 Staff Writer
SALC calls for #equalhealthforall...

1 March is internationally known as Zero Discrimination Day. Discrimination undermines human dignity and is a violation of human rights. As stated by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), the effects of discrimination aren’t isolated to the…

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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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