Documentation of Human Rights Abuses in Zimbabwe Publications

Looking back at human rights developments in 2013, several themes stand out. The unchecked slaughter of civilians in Syria elicited global horror and outrage, but not enough to convince world leaders to exert the pressure needed to stop it. That has led some to lament the demise of the much-vaunted “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, which world governments adopted less than a decade ago to protect people facing mass atrocities. Yet it turned out to be too soon to draft the epitaph for R2P, as it is known, because toward the end of the year it showed renewed vitality in several African countries facing the threat of large-scale atrocities: the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The report Captured Childhood is based on interviews with 70 children in 11 countries and draws on international law to ask for an end to child detention. A model to prevent child detention is described and builds on good practices identified in research done by the International Detention Coalition. Detention, even for a very short  time, can cause long-lasting damage and is unnecessary in the case of children and families.

NGOs note with appreciation that ten African States have pledged to ratify and/or incorporate into national law the Kampala Convention on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa. NGOs are also heartened that thirteen African States have taken the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Statelessness Convention to consider accession to this important instrument. We encourage these States to follow through with their pledges and others to follow suit.

LHR has brought a number of high profile cases in the 2008/9 period. In the Zimabawean Exiles Forum matter, LHR sought the release of several Zimbabwean human rights activists who were arrested and threatened with deportation following a protest against the arms shipment to Zimbabwe that took place at the gates of the Chinese Embassy.