Human Rights

&

ADVOCACY  Programme

Human rights are the basic freedoms that all people should be able to enjoy, no matter who they are or where they come from. These rights give all people a guarantee that they can expect to be treated fairly and with respect by others.

In South Africa, human rights are protected through the Bill of Rights in our Constitution. However, stigma and discrimination against some groups of people means they are prevented from enjoying their human rights. Many groups of people, including young people, men who have sex with men, and transgender people, are discriminated against and have their rights challenged every day.

Beyond Zero and its partners run programmes to address the human rights issues faced by such key and vulnerable populations, and to ensure that we all have access to health and legal services, to reduce barriers to human rights and eliminate the spread of HIV across society, which is a benefit to everyone.

The #BeyondSilence Human Rights Campaign is a country wide Human Rights programme implemented in seven (7) provinces, aimed at addressing gender-based violence (GBV), discrimination, and promoting human rights, equality, and stigma within the context of HIV, AIDS, and TB. This campaign serves as a catalyst for open conversations, awareness, and advocacy. 

The campaign strives to empower Key and Vulnerable Populations (KVP) by ensuring they have unhindered access to healthcare, protection of their human rights, and the opportunity to enjoy social well-being. In the process, it contributes to forging a world where no one is left behind.

The Human Rights Advocacy programme has the following key objectives

  1. Raise awareness on the intersection of gender-based violence and HIV/TB stigma and discrimination.
  2. Promote human rights, equality, and justice for KVPs.
  3. Create opportunities for open conversations about GBV.
  4. Develop action plans and implement activities effective in responding to GBV in communities.

Challanges to Human Rights

When our personal, social or cultural beliefs result in negative attitudes towards some groups, this prevents people from being able to fully enjoy their human rights.

When people are discriminated against and treated unfairly, they might feel hurt and afraid. It can also be difficult to access information and important services like healthcare or justice. This may increase their vulnerability to HIV and to other health problems as well as social problems.

Men who have sex with men often face

    • Unfair treatment and harassment.
    • Verbal and physical abuse.
    • They do not always get the health services they may need.
    • Physical and sexual violence in the community.
    • Reporting violence or getting help is difficult because they might be afraid of further discrimination, and often don’t have strong support from family or community members.

Transgender people often face

  • Proof treatment by health care provider because of who they are.
  • Often experience violence and face problems when laws and policies do not protect them.
  • Getting justice is hard because they might not trust the police and do not know where else to go for help.

Young people often face

  • Violence and unfair treatment in schools and social settings.
  • Being denied information or health and legal services.