The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Zimbabwe

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance #zimbabwe

Zimbabwe
Republic of Zimbabwe

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalHarare
Land Area 386 850km21
LocationAfrica
Population13.0m (2011)2
Life Expectancy59.20yrs (2017)3
GNI$1 588 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesZW, ZWE, 7165
Internet Domain.zw6
CurrencyDollar (ZWD)7
Telephone+2638

Zimbabwe 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. Zimbabwe does worse than average in commentary from Human Rights Watch9, eliminating modern slavery10, opposing gender inequality11, supporting press freedom12, its nominal commitment to Human Rights13 and in LGBT equality14. And finally, it falls into the bottom 20 in its Global Peace Index rating15, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms16 and in fighting corruption17. Zimbabwe has such a poor Human Rights record that political theorist Jack Donnelly in his book "Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice" (2013)18 included it amongst 3 countries for which "compliance with international human rights standards would mean removal of those in power"19. After dictator Robert Mugabe was ousted in 2017, he was replaced by his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, "who has his ownlong record of rights violations"20. Some existing human rights provisions from 2013 are routinely ignored by the government20.


1. Politics and Freedom

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

Corruption (2012-2016)17
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score17
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
154Congo, (Brazzaville)22.8
155Congo, DR21.6
156Myanmar (Burma)21.4
157Zimbabwe21.0
158Cambodia21.0
159Chad20.4
160Burundi20.2
161Eritrea19.8
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)15
Pos.Lower is better15
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
136Ethiopia2.50
137Burundi2.52
138Myanmar (Burma)2.53
139Zimbabwe2.54
140Georgia2.54
141India2.55
142Yemen2.60
143Colombia2.63
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)9
Pos.Higher is better
Score9
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
80Cambodia-5
81Uganda-5
82S. Sudan-5
83Zimbabwe-5
84Bahrain-5
85Venezuela-5
86Oman-5
87Tajikistan-5
World Avg-1.9
q=123.

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)13
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties13
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
151Cuba11
152Guyana11
153Swaziland11
154Zimbabwe11
155Saudi Arabia10
156Laos10
157Solomon Islands10
158Qatar10
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)16
Pos.Lower is better
Rank16
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
145Saudi Arabia144
146Chad146
147Pakistan146
148Zimbabwe148
149Guinea149
150Angola150
151Congo, DR151
152Algeria152
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)12
Pos.Lower is better12
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
129Angola3780
130Libya3786
131Burundi3802
132Zimbabwe3812
133Jordan3847
134Thailand3860
135Morocco3904
136Ethiopia3957
World Avg3249
q=178.

In 2017, several journalists and activists were subject to arbitrary arrest, harassment, and intimidation while participating in protests or reporting on demonstrations. [...]

On July 28, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA, Zimbabwe) led a journalists´ march to the Harare Central Police Station protesting police assault on three journalists of the privately owned NewsDay daily newspaper. Police had assaulted journalists Obey Manayiti, Shepherd Tozvireva, Abigail Mutsikidze, and their driver, Raphael Phiri, the previous day for allegedly taking photographs of the police beating protesters in Harare. [...]

State media remains partisan in favor of the ruling ZANU-PF party while limiting coverage of opposition political parties. The government has not repealed or amended the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), and other laws that severely restrict basic rights and infringe on freedom of expression.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)20

Slavery (2018)10
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims10
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
119Ukraine0.64
120Turkey0.65
121Niger0.67
122Zimbabwe0.67
123Togo0.68
124Cameroon0.69
125Kenya0.69
126Albania0.69
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory21. 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' friends22. 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 life23. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves24.

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 slavery25. 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 dignity26. 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.27. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi10, Eritrea10, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #women #Zimbabwe

Gender Inequality (2015)11
Pos.Lower is better11
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
123Iraq0.53
124Zambia0.53
125India0.53
126Zimbabwe0.54
127Gabon0.54
128Qatar0.54
129Tanzania0.54
130Pakistan0.55
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 Vote30
Pos.Lower is better
Year30
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
169Mozambique1975
170Portugal1976
171Guinea-Bissau1977
172Zimbabwe1978
173Marshall Islands1979
174Palau1979
175Micronesia1979
176Iraq1980
World Avg1930
q=189.

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

Two years after Zimbabwe´s Constitutional Court declared child marriage unconstitutional and set 18 as the minimum marriage age, the government has yet to amend or repeal all existing marriage laws that still allow child marriage. It also has not put structures in place to implement the court decision and ensure that girls under 18 are not forced into marriage. [...]

A January 2017 Human Rights Watch report found that widows are routinely evicted from their marital homes and their property confiscated by in-laws with little recourse to the formal justice system. Many of the victims struggled to claim rights for reasons unique to their status as widows. Few women formally own the property held during their marriage. As a result, they were unable to keep jointly held property upon the death of their husband. They are required to prove they were in fact married, which can pose great challenges, due to lack of access to the courts and the high cost of obtaining the necessary documents to ward off in-laws´ intent on property grabbing. The government has yet to raise awareness, review inheritance and marriage laws, and improve access to justice for women.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)20

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance #Zimbabwe

LGBT Equality (2017)14
Pos.Higher is better
Score14
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
165Yemen-22
166Turkmenistan-24
167Lebanon-24
168Zimbabwe-24
169St Kitts & Nevis-25
170Botswana-25
171Ghana-25
172Pakistan-26
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 violence31. 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 laws32. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries31. 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.

Mugabe had a particular hate for gay and lesbian folk and over the last two decades has stated repeatedly that "gays are worse than dogs and pigs"33 and it will take an exceedingly long time for basic tolerance towards LGBT folk to become the norm. Purely as a result of cultural prejudice and poor moral thinking, the Criminal Law Act, section 73, makes male homosexual relations illegal20, needlessly sending men to prison for private, consensual activity.

4. Zimbabwe Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Zimbabwe

Social & Moral
Development Index
34
Pos.Higher is better
Points34
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
169Mozambique42.1
170Sierra Leone41.4
171Swaziland41.3
172Zimbabwe41.1
173S. Sudan41.0
174Tuvalu40.9
175Eritrea40.4
176Ivory Coast40.3
177Gabon40.0
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.

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#zimbabwe

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/zimbabwe_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Zimbabwe (Republic of Zimbabwe)

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

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

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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. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  10. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  11. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  12. 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.^^
  13. 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.^^
  14. Sources:^^
  15. ^^
  16. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  17. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  18. Donnelly (2013) .^
  19. Donnelly (2013). p171.^
  20. Human Rights Watch (2018). p638-643.^^^^
  21. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  22. McCall (1979). p180.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  24. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  27. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  28. Klein (2004) .^
  29. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  30. "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)^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  32. 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.^
  33. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p279.^
  34. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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