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Human Rights in Zambia

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Overview of Human Rights in Zambia


The government of Zambia has a very poor human rights record. While there were fewer violations reported in recent years, serious violations remain. Security forces in Zambia often act with the unofficial consent of the government when they participate in arbitrary arrest and detention, unlawful killing, torture, beatings and abuse of suspects and detainees. Often, demonstrations are forcibly dispersed with unwarranted use of force. Even when not acting on the will of the government itself, actions are often taken and no punishment is ever meted out. Prison conditions are poor and in some cases life threatening. Violence and overcrowding are major points of concern to human rights activists. At all levels of government, there are prominent members who are corrupt and act with impunity. The government also restricts the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly. There is often limited enforcement of workers’ rights and child labor laws. Journalists, human rights activists, and opposition supporters are often harassed, threatened, or even arrested. Child abuse, child labor, human trafficking and discrimination against people with disabilities are societal issues of concern.

Note: Recent elections in Zambia were marred by several irregularities, however, they were considered to generally fair and transparent.  The democratic process works in such a way to allow opposition parties to challenge election results, while the Supreme Court may or may not uphold their validity.

Human Development Index (HDI) Rank:

165th out of 177

Note: Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index that measures the level of well-being of nations in the world. It uses factors such as poverty, literacy, life-expectancy, education, gross domestic product, and purchasing power parity to assess the average achievements in each nation. It has been used in the United Nation’s Human Development Report since 1993.

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"Human Rights in Zambia";