Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati
III, the world's last absolute monarch, who has ruled by decree since 1986
and who has continued to ban political parties after his father, King Sobhuza,
dissolved the constitution in 1973, however
there is growing unrest and demand for political reform, frequently stalled by
the ruling elite.
Recently the king's appointed
prime minister Prime Minister, Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, has said that the
government will consider using 'sipakatane' to "punish dissidents and
foreigners who come to the country and disturb the peace" (this being a form of
torture where the feet are repeatedly hit with nail embedded rods.)
With a life
expectancy of just around 49yrs, there are an estimated 100,000 orphans in the
country (10% of its overall population) and this is likely to increase given the
levels of HIV/AIDS.
are the ones most likely to drop out of school, be trafficked and suffer even
more than others from poverty and malnutrition ~ which already affects 40% of
children in Swaziland.