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Digest: The Catholic Church and Human Rights

Since the end of World War II, human rights have become one of the foundations of the international order and a cornerstone for policy-making and advocacy. Drawing on her long tradition of social teaching, the Catholic Church fully supports this new orientation of international relations, and has further developed her own doctrine of human rights.

Family Digest 22

Adoption is a legal process whereby a person assumes the parenting of a non-biological child from that person’s biological or legal parent or parents, and, in so doing, permanently acquires all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents. It thus involves the permanent transfer of a child from one set of parents and one family to another.

Refugees Digest 30

In the days leading up to Christmas when, in the Christian tradition, note is taken of the itinerancy of Mary and Joseph in compliance with a political imperative, there was a flurry of policy discussions on issues of migration. Pope Francis pointed out that the Holy Family shared the ‘anguish of persecution’ and that the little Jesus reminds us that half the refugees in the world are children.

Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Mass, 1 February 2019

On 1st February 1997 the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed by Parliament. Since then, many thousands of unborn children have been killed, their dignity and humanity counting for nothing. To mark this anniversary, and to pray for a change of heart on the part of all who disregard the rights of unborn children,
Holy Mass will be celebrated.

Submission: Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases Amendment Bill

This submission is made on behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) by the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO). The CPLO is an office of the SACBC, tasked with liaising between the Church and Parliament/Government, commenting on issues of public policy, and making submissions on legislation.
The CPLO welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill, which has important implications for employees that do not often get the same treatment as those employed in other sectors.

BP 469: Political Violence in KwaZulu-Natal

After 25 years of democracy, political violence remains one of the greatest challenges that continuously undermine South Africa’s constitutional state. The province of KwaZulu-Natal accounts for the majority of political violence that occurs in South Africa and, especially around election time, fear and anxiety loom as political assassinations increase.

Response: International World AIDS Day

On 1st December South Africa observed the 30th Annual World Aids Day. This year the theme was ‘Know your Status.’ This is an important consideration as it is estimated that about 9.4 million people living with HIV/Aids worldwide do not know their status. On the other hand, positively, statistics show that 75% do know it, equating to 19m people, compared to 67% in 2015.

Submission on the Draft Regulations on the Registration of Births and Deaths

The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Draft Regulations on the Registration of Births and Deaths. We confine our comment to the question of ‘confirmation of birth’ documents that the Department proposes to issue to ‘foreign’ children. Nothing in the draft regulations explains or justifies the proposal to provide such children with a different, and inferior, form of birth certification.

BP 468: The Impact of Domestic Violence on Women & Children

South African society is painfully riven by deeply disturbing levels of inter personal violence, from which the domestic sphere is not exempt. According to the recently released crime statistics, violent crimes against women and children continue to escalate, and much of that violence is experienced at home.

Submission on the Children’s Amendment Draft Bill

The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office welcomes this opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. The Draft Bill seeks to provide clarity on a number of issues which have concerned our Office. We feel that in general the amendments proposed contribute to a policy framework that improves the care and protection of children and promotes their well-being.

BP 466: The Sustainable Development Goals: What is the Progress?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, as part of a resolution to transform the world that we live in and to achieve sustainable development for all. They came into effect in January 2016, and should continue to guide the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) policy and funding until 2030.

BP 465: The Traditional Courts Bill

Traditional leadership is one of the oldest institutions in Africa. During the pre-colonial periods, traditional governance and traditional leadership played a vital role in local communities. Traditional authorities were viewed as heads of their people and leaders of their communities.

BP 464: Domestic Abuse and Asylum

In July 2018, US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions issued a directive codifying changes in policy with regard to asylum applications. These included instructions that officials adjudicating the claims of asylum seekers should not take into account any claims based on escape from domestic violence or gangsterism.

BP 463: Climate Change & Food Security – The Impact on Rural Women

Despite the significant progress that has been made in addressing gender inequalities, women are still amongst the most marginalized groups of society. According to a report on poverty and inequality compiled by Dr Ingrid Woolard; Africans account for 95% of people classed as ‘poor’ in South Africa, and 77% are women living in rural areas.

BP 462: Prostitution/Sex Work – Is it Work and is it a Choice?

In May 2017 the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha, released the South African Law Reform Commission’s Report on Project 107 – Adult Prostitution. Subsequently, during March 2018, Parliament’s Multi-Party Women’s Caucus held public hearings on the report, which advocates the complete criminalization of prostitution.

Family Digest 21: TB – a major public health issue, but preventable and curable

78 000 people in South Africa died of tuberculosis (TB) in 2017, and while this is fewer than estimated for the previous year, TB treatment coverage remains low at 68 percent, meaning that up to one third of all people living with TB are being missed. The disease is particularly prevalent in the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and in general it remains at crisis point in South Africa.