Judicial Protection of Women’s and Children’s Rights During the COVID-19 Lockdown in Botswana

By: *Isaac Lesetedi, JA


The coronavirus is a highly contagious virus, spreading across the world at an alarming pace, and bringing along mass hospitalizations and deaths in many countries across the world. Through the World Health Organisation, countries have adopted several public health strategies to contain the spread of the pandemic. Amongst these strategies, is social distancing which is implemented in various degrees. In the looser degree, countries regulate the distancing requirement between people in social settings and limits the number of people in social gatherings and, in some countries, going further by proscribing all social gatherings except the most essential. The more stringent form of limitation of human social distancing is generally referred to as a lockdown.

As of this writing, Botswana has 13 reported cases, with only one reported death, having recorded the first case of COVID-19 on 30th March 2020. The following day with one more case and a death reported, the Government, having a few weeks earlier imposed less restrictive measures before any case was reported in the country, took a more stringent step with the President declaring a state of public emergency under Section 17 of the Constitution and ordering a national lockdown for 28 days effective from midnight of 2nd April 2020. Section 17 of the Constitution only permits the President to declare a state of pub