The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Swaziland

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #swaziland #tolerance

Swaziland
Kingdom of Swaziland

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalMbabane (administrative) and Lobamba (legislative)
Land Area 17 200km21
LocationAfrica
Population1.2m (2011)2
Life Expectancy48.94yrs (2017)3
GNI$7 522 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesSZ, SWZ, 7485
Internet Domain.sz6
CurrencyLilangeni (SZL)7
Telephone+2688

Swaziland is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. And finally, it does worse than average in its Global Peace Index rating9, commentary from Human Rights Watch10, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms11, opposing gender inequality12, eliminating modern slavery13, LGBT equality14, its nominal commitment to Human Rights15 and in supporting press freedom16. There is no popular representation since political parties were banned in 1973, and the dictatorial rule of King Mswati III since 1986 continues to "repress political dissent and disregard human rights and rule of law""World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)17.


1. Politics and Freedom

#burundi #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery #Swaziland

Ruled by absolute monarch King Mswati III since 1986, Swaziland continued to repress political dissent and disregard human rights and rule of law in 2017. Political parties remained banned, as they have been since 1973; the independence of the judiciary is severely compromised and repressive laws continued to be used to target critics of the government and the king, despite basic rights guarantees in Swaziland´s 2005 constitution. [...]

amendments to the Public Order Act grant sweeping powers to the national commissioner of police to arbitrarily halt pro-democracy meetings and protests, and crush any criticism of the government.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)17

Global Peace Index (2012)9
Pos.Lower is better9
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
83Brazil2.02
84Bolivia2.02
85Ecuador2.03
86Swaziland2.03
87Equatorial Guinea2.04
88USA2.06
89China2.06
90Dominican Rep.2.07
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)10
Pos.Higher is better
Score10
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
100Yemen-7
101Egypt-7
102Equatorial Guinea-7
103Swaziland-7
104Indonesia-7
105Ethiopia-7
106Russia-8
107Turkmenistan-8
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)15
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties15
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
150Bahamas11
151Cuba11
152Guyana11
153Swaziland11
154Zimbabwe11
155Saudi Arabia10
156Laos10
157Solomon Islands10
World Avg15.1
q=194.

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
131Morocco131
132Niger132
133Sierra Leone133
134Swaziland134
135Gabon135
136Togo136
137Bangladesh137
138Belize138
World Avg79.7
q=159.
Press Freedom (2013)16
Pos.Lower is better16
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
151Gambia4509
152Mexico4530
153Turkey4656
154Swaziland4676
155Azerbaijan4773
156Belarus4835
157Egypt4866
158Pakistan5131
World Avg3249
q=178.

Slavery (2018)13
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims13
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
141Greece0.79
142Congo, (Brazzaville)0.80
143Macedonia0.87
144Swaziland0.88
145Thailand0.89
146Laos0.94
147Papua New Guinea1.03
148Belarus1.09
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory18. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends19. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life20. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves21.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery22. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity23. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.24. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi13, Eritrea13, Indonesia25) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery26.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #Swaziland #women

Gender Inequality (2015)12
Pos.Lower is better12
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
134Togo0.56
135Kenya0.56
136Egypt0.57
137Swaziland0.57
138Cameroon0.57
139Mozambique0.57
140Sudan0.57
141Congo, (Brazzaville)0.59
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote27
Pos.Lower is better
Year27
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
151Tuvalu1967
152Kiribati1967
153Ecuador1967
154Swaziland1968
155Nauru1968
156Congo, (Brazzaville)1970
157Congo, DR1970
158Yemen1970
World Avg1930
q=189.

Swaziland is an unequal country, with male rights dominating those of women.

Under both Swazi customary law and the Marriage Act (1964), married women are assigned a disadvantaged status, granting men more privileges and rights. The act provides that married women require the consent of their husbands to enter into certain contracts, including accessing credit from financial institutions. The Marriage Act imposes on African spouses the customary consequences of marriage while granting to non-African spouses the common law consequences of marriage. This violates the right of married women to be free from racial discrimination under the constitution and international human rights treaties.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)17

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #Swaziland #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)14
Pos.Higher is better
Score14
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
144Ethiopia-14
145Eritrea-14
146Brunei-14
147Swaziland-14
148Kenya-14
149Singapore-15
150Zambia-15
151Bangladesh-17
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence28. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws29. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries28. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Swaziland Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Swaziland

Social & Moral
Development Index
30
Pos.Higher is better
Points30
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
168Algeria42.5
169Mozambique42.1
170Sierra Leone41.4
171Swaziland41.3
172Zimbabwe41.1
173S. Sudan41.0
174Tuvalu40.9
175Eritrea40.4
176Ivory Coast40.3
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/swaziland_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Swaziland (Kingdom of Swaziland)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#burundi #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #swaziland #tolerance #women

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References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. ^^
  10. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  11. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  12. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  13. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  14. Sources:^^
  15. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  16. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  17. Human Rights Watch (2018). p520-523.^^^
  18. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  19. McCall (1979). p180.^
  20. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  21. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  22. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  24. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  25. Klein (2004) .^
  26. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  27. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  28. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  29. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  30. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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