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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Environment, Natural Resources & Rural Development

The South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is charged with a mandate to promote, protect and monitor the realisation of human rights in South Africa. In the process of discharging its mandate, the Commission has identified seven priority areas that it will focus on under the strategic guidance of seven Commissioners. These focus areas include, inter alia, insert environmental focus, access to adequate housing, children’s rights, the rights of older persons, and the prevention of torture.
The right to an environment that is not harmful to one’s heath and well is provided for in section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 108 of 1996. Section 24 of the Constitution also provides for the right to be protected for the benefit of present and future generations. This is central to the Government’s sustainable development agenda, and to the work and mandate of the Commission.

Through her portfolio on Environment, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Commissioner Janet Love continues to draw attention to the relationship between a safe and healthy environment and the enjoyment of human rights. The Commission recognises the direct and indirect links between the protection of the environment and the enjoyment of human rights, as well as on obligations and responsibilities of the State and other actors under human rights treaties and trans-boundary agreements. Further, in the context of socio-economic rights and rural development, the Commission has identified the need to carry out a number of activities in promoting rural development and protecting the rights of people in relation to natural resource utilisation.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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How can the SAHRC help?

The SAHRC promotes, protects and monitors human rights in South Africa. It also has a specific responsibility to promote and monitor the implementation of PAIA.