The world over, prisons provide ideal conditions for TB transmission—globally, TB incidence in prisons is 33 times that in the general population; and new data confirms that TB in prisons spills over into communities. In other words, prisons are like TB factories that drive TB epidemics all over the world.
This November and December, the O’Neill Institute worked with partners KELIN, Talaku, ARASA, and the Center for Tolerance and Peace to convene a series of workshops in which experienced activists and civil society leaders focused on developing legal knowledge, skills, and strategic thinking in order to bring the law and human rights to bear in campaigns to address TB in prisons.
The workshops took place in Johannesburg, Lusaka, and Nairobi and piloted a forthcoming publication, Tuberculosis in prisons: a people’s introduction to the law. The publication will be a tool for activists who wish to use the law and human rights in their campaigns to address TB in prisons. In total, over 60 leaders participated in the workshops and provided constructive feedback on the publication. We will release the finalized publication in January 2019.
The TB crisis can only be solved through strategies that respect and leverage human rights and the law; it is therefore imperative that TB activists be adept in how to wield these powerful tools. We were honored to work with committed activists and leaders over the last few months and look forward to launching an important resource for the fight against TB in prisons in the new year.