Swaziland society is characterized by large
socio-economic gaps. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of SWZ and acronym for Swaziland. The differences between the urban
population and the rural people are prominent, not least
with regard to the situation of women. More than half of the
population lives in extreme poverty and three out of ten
lack access to clean water.
Health care is neglected, with higher child mortality and
shorter life expectancy than in countries with a comparable
economy. Of the total public expenditure, 9 percent is spent
on health care (2009). There are two doctors (2004) and 21
hospital beds (2006) per 10,000 residents. Qualified
personnel are available at 70 percent of deliveries (2007).
About 50 children out of 1,000 die during their first year
of life. The HIV/AIDS epidemic contributes strongly to a
low average life expectancy. Swaziland is one of the
countries most affected by the disease; 26 percent of the
population aged 15-49 are estimated to be infected (2009).
In May 2016, the King appointed 7 experienced attorneys
to Supreme Court judges. This happened in contravention of
§153 of the Constitution which states that judges must be
selected in an open, transparent and qualitative process.
The Advocate Council therefore decided in November to
boycott the Supreme Court, demanding that the judges be
appointed in the bull council with the Constitution.
In September, the High Court ruled that parts of the
Sedition and Subversive Activities Act (SSA) and the
Suppression of Terrorism Act (STA) were in violation of the
Constitution when they violated freedom of speech and
assembly. The government appealed the ruling to the Supreme
In May Swaziland was subjected to the UN Human Rights
Council's periodic review (UPR). The country accepted 121 of
the Council's 181 recommendations on safeguarding freedom of
speech and assembly, as well as preventing child marriage.
In turn, the country rejected the recommendation to abolish
the death sentence and safeguard the rights of migrant
workers. The ILO was also involved in efforts to secure
better rights for the trade union movement in the country,
but without results.