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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

14 November 2018

Violent protests at health facilities haven’t only uncovered failings, they have revealed the interconnected nature of the rights we aspire to live


Historically, protest action has been the only social currency people could effectively use to overcome oppression. During apartheid South Africa, violent protests were an arguably justifiable response to the time’s illegitimate and oppressive regime.
01 October 2018

By Advocate Bongani Majola and Adv Pansy Tlakula

“In a democratic society such as our own, the effective exercise of the right to vote also depends on the right of access to information.  For without access to information, the ability of citizens to make responsible political decisions and participate meaningfully in public life is undermined.”
By: Advocate Bongani Majola & Advocate Pansy Tlakula   

01 October 2018

“In a democratic society such as our own, the effective exercise of the right to vote also depends on the right of access to information.  For without access to information, the ability of citizens to make responsible political decisions and participate meaningfully in public life is undermined.”
25 September 2018

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights cannot by themselves correct the injustices of the past. That is up to the leadership and citizenry of South Africa.

In the wake of the commemoration and celebration of President Nelson Mandela’s centenary, the world, and South Africans in particular, have serious questions to ask and in turn answer on the issue of social justice.
By: Advocate Tseliso Thipanyane & Khanye Mase   

11 September 2018

On the 19th of June 2018, United States of America (USA) Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Nikki Haley, announced that the USA would be leaving the Human Rights Council, noting that “we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.” The Trump administration’s recent decision has been at the heart of contentious debate and it has been viewed as unpopular amongst the international community. Boris Johnson, the erstwhile Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom (UK) stated that the UK aspires to see reform in the Human Rights Council but that they are committed to “working to strengthen the Council from within.” He further stated that “Britain’s support for the human rights council remains steadfast. It is the best tool the international community has to address impunity in an imperfect world and to advance many of our international goals.”
01 July 2018

According to the United Nation’s 2017 International Migration Report, South Africa is host to an estimated four million migrants. This figure is set against a backdrop of a history of migration into South Africa that was marked by exploitative labour arrangements between South Africa and its neighbouring countries. This history is often treated with a ‘historical amnesia’ of the contribution of migrants to the South African economy and society. Migrants and particularly African migrants are met with a distrust and hostility that appears as xenophobia.
Transformasie aan universiteite is nie ’n blote kwotastelsel sonder ’n uitkomsgebaseerde fokus wat uiteindelik tot die uitsluiting en die verlaging van standaarde sal lei nie, skryf adv.

Beeld 23 Jun 2018André Gaum.

’NOnlangse hoofartikel in Beeld stel vrae aan die Suid-Afrikaanse Menseregtekommissie (MRK) oor dié se verslag voor die parlementêre portefeuljekomitee oor hoër onderwys en opleiding.
26 April 2018

The high court judgment in the case of YG versus the State in 2017 banned corporal punishment in the home, which, in effect, bans it in all places.
24 – 30 November 2017

Nonconforming people are protected by the Constitution in a complex tug-of-war

Recently, I had an oppor-tunity to see a screening of the award-winning film Inxeba: The Wound, which explores, in an incisive fashion, the complex ties involving oppressed sexual orienta-tion, gender identity and expression. This is done provocatively against the backdrop of the Xhosa rite of ulwaluko — a practice that has always been masked in secrecy and is intended to prepare young men for manhood.
It seems unlikely that the Zimbabwe situation – even though seeming to satisfy the elements of a coup, albeit in slow motion – will be defined as such. By MARTIN NSIBIRWA and PEACEMORE MHODI.

he phenomenon of unconstitutional changes of government within the African context is one that is supposedly regarded as a serious matter. Views abound that it was actually intended to safeguard unconstitutional change of governments that were in power even against the will of the people. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union (AU), has given much attention to the issue of unconstitutional change of government. At least three policy instruments at a continental level address the issue of unconstitutional change of government. These are, first, the Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government (Lomé Declaration), second, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (Addis Charter), and third, the Constitutive Act of the AU (Constitutive Act).
THE United Nations designated October 31 as the World Cities Day. This day was adopted by the General Assembly on 27 December 2013.

10 November 2017

The World Cities Day is meant to galvanise efforts among different role players to address the challenges posed by urbanisation and contribute towards sustainable development. The general theme of World Cities Day is Bet- ter City, Better Life, while each year a differ- ent sub-theme is selected, to either promote successes of urbanisation, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanisation. The 2017 theme for World Cities Day was Innova- tive Governance, Open Cities.
27 August 2017

By Commissioner Mohamed Ameermia

The Constitutional Court in the matter of Occupiers of Erven 87 & 88 Berea v De Wet NO and Another, reaffirmed on June 8, 2017 its previous judgments and held that judicial officers have to play an active role in adjudicating eviction matters.

23 August 2017

South Africa still defines gender by binary socialisation which does nothing to protect individuals who identify outside of the duality.

The education system has faced many obstacles over the past few years. From challenges regarding language as a medium of instruction and admission procedures that perpetuate discrimination and inequality, to codes of conduct that violate the fundamental principles of our Constitution.

11 - 17 August 2017

The Constitution rules against discrimination and for the protection of children at all schools

Over the past two weeks, one of the most prominent private schools in the country, Saint John’s College, has been criticised for merely disciplining and demoting a teacher found guilty of sustained discrimination against black pupils is his classes.

21 July 2017

The South African Human Rights Commission launched its first Civil and Political Rights Report, on 28 June 2017, which provides a snapshot of key developments around civil and political rights in South Africa during 2016/2017. The launch of the report coincided with the intimidation of journalists by the Black First Land First (BFL) group and threats by BFL to protest at the homes and places of worship of members of the media. These actions which were widely denounced brings focus to bear on important civil and political rights. By KATE TISSINGTON and FOLA ADELEKE.
28 June 2017

By Commissioner Andre Gaum

The process of the admission of pupils to schools for the 2018 academic year is well under way.
This is an opportune time to speak about the impact of admission policies on social transformation.
The management of the admissions raises a number of important issues around co-operative governance and separation of powers, as well as the reasonable exercise of public power or functions. Read more
By Sinethemba Memela, Tatenda Muranda and Querida Saal, SAHRC researchers

Which department should take the lead in the provision of special-needs  housing?

Two years after the finalisation of a special-needs housing policy, it is yet to be tabled for approval.

The housing sector is beset with challenges, most notably a severe housing shortage, a sizeable backlog in housing provision and severe overcrowding. Despite these challenges, government’s efforts in addressing the housing problem must be acknowledged. Between 1994 and 2014, about 2.8 million state-subsidised houses and in excess of 875 000 serviced sites were delivered, benefiting around 12.5 million people. Read more
20 June 2017
 
By Bongani Majola, SAHRC Chairperson

The health department recognises this but not everyone, including asylum seekers, knows this

June 20 is World Refugee Day. There are about 65.6-million forcibly displaced people, and 22.5-million international refugees, the recent report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees states.
South Africa is host to a refugee population from many parts of the African continent and beyond. They
are fleeing persecution, civil conflict and wars that threaten life and limb. Refugees and asylum seekers
here face a number of problems and access to healthcare is arguably one of the most pressing. Read more
23 March 2017

The Constitution is clear. All people have the right to dignity, equality and freedom. As the Supreme Court of Appeal once noted, “human dignity has no nationality. It is inherent in all people – citizens and non-citizens alike – simply because they are human”. This inherent right arising out of our humanity extends not only to everyone’s right to life, freedom and security of the person, religion, language and culture, belief and opinion. It also extends in the Constitution to socio-economic rights such as housing; healthcare, food, water and social security; education; amongst a range of other. Read more
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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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