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ACTSA’s Campaign for Human Rights and Democracy in Swaziland

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Over the past 18 months, Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) has received support from UNISON to build international support for human rights and democracy in Swaziland.

ACTSA organised and hosted a visit to the UK by Vincent Ncongwane, the then Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), in March 2015. Vincent met with the then Minister for Africa and senior officials at the Commonwealth Secretariat, as well as with a wide range of civil society organisations, including trade unions. Vincent was able to use these meetings to stress the need for the UK and Commonwealth to step up their engagement with the Government of Swaziland so that it fulfils its international obligations. He also called on bilateral and multilateral agencies to more actively support the work of Swazi civil society.

ACTSA has produced a range of campaign materials. Most recently, ACTSA has published a new briefing paper Swaziland’s Downward Spiral: The International Community Must Act Now. The paper warns that Swaziland may plunge into a protracted crisis unless the international community, including the UK, applies serious pressure on the Government of Swaziland so that it respects human rights and develops a genuinely democratic constitution. UNISON and other UK trade unionists have also been supportive of the development of a Swazi Rural Women’s Charter, which is discussed in another new ACTSA publication Women’s Rights in Swaziland