PRESS RELEASE : CONCERN OVER THE VIOLATION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF LIFE ESIDIMENI RESIDENTS
DATE: 16 MARCH 2016
As South Africa celebrates Human Right’s Day on the 21st of March, The South African Federation for Mental Health would like to draw attention to the ongoing Life Esidimeni case. The manner in which the termination of the Life Esidimeni contract has been managed by the Gauteng Department of Health has raised concerns regarding whether the human rights of the residents of the Life Esidimeni facilities are being protected.
DATE: 9 MARCH 2016 (Intellectual Disability Awareness Month)
CHILDREN WITH SEVERE AND PROFOUND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES NEED TO BE PRIORITISED BY GOVERNMENT
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, quoted in an article published by News24 (More Gauteng schools to be built – MEC. 2016-03-08), stated that more schools will be built in Gauteng with the R39bn budget that Finance MEC Barbara Creecy allocated to the province's education department. In the article MEC Lesufi also states that the special school sector will be receiving R6.39bn.
PRESS RELEASE: CHILDREN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY HAVE A RIGHT TO ACCESS EDUCATION
In August 2015, Human Rights Watch released a report highlighting South Africa’s failure to guarantee an inclusive education for children with disabilities (https://www.hrw.org/report/2015/08/18/complicit-exclusion/south-africas-failure-guarantee-inclusive-education-children). The report, titled “Complicit in Exclusion” found that over half a million children with disabilities in South Africa were not receiving education, and hundreds of thousands of children with disabilities, who do attend school, were not receiving the level of education they required.
The South African Guide-dogs Association for the Blind is now training specially selected dogs to work with children with Autism.
Please note that the SAFMH offices will close on the 19th of December, and open again on the 4th of January 2016. The Human Rights Watch reporting system for human rights violations will therefore not be responding to any calls, smses, whatsapp messages or emails during this time.
Charlene Sunkel, SAFMH Programme Manager for Advocacy & Awareness, giving an interview at the World Health Organisation in October 2015.