South Africa South Africa: 1st Periodic Report, 1999-2001

Periodic Report

Period Covered:1994 - 2001
Date Considered: 5 December 2005
Session Considered:38th Ordinary Session
21 November - 5 December 2005. Banjul, Gambia

Concluding Observations

Adopted at 38th Ordinary Session, 21 November - 5 December 2005, Banjul, Gambia.


V – Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of South Africa should:

27. The Commission notes the difficulties in ensuring the effective enjoyment of the rights in the Charter mentioned by the State Party and to this end urges civil society organizations and the international community to work closely with the State Party to ensure the effective implementation of the National Plan of Action on Human Rights;

28. Ensure that the provisions of the African Charter are widely known and understood by adults and children alike, in both rural and urban areas. In this regard, it encourages the State Party to intensify efforts for the effective implementation of the African Charter and make it available in local languages;

29. Consider lifting the reservation made on Article 6 (d) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa;

30. Take appropriate administrative measures to ensure the speedy consideration of the applications for asylum seekers;

31. Undertake studies with a view to designing and implementing appropriate policies and measures, including care and rehabilitation, to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children;

32. Take all appropriate measures to ensure that the rights of children belonging to minority groups, including the Khoi-Khoi and San, are guaranteed, particularly those rights concerning culture, religion, language and access to information;

33. Take the necessary measures to fully implement the recommendations of the African Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa;
34. Intensify efforts to interact more with members of civil society organizations;

35. Make the declaration under Article 34 (6) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of An African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights;

36. Take the necessary steps to ensure that the anti-terrorism legislation is in conformity with human rights standards and practices set forth by relevant human rights instruments ratified by the State, including the African Charter;

37. Take appropriate steps to present its next Periodic Report in conformity with Article 62 of the African Charter;

38. Inform the African Commission, in its next Periodic Report, of the steps it has taken to address the areas of concern, as well as how it has implemented the recommendations in this Concluding Observations.

Adopted at the 38th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held from 21 November to 5 December 2005 in Banjul, The Gambia.

This first Periodic Report contains five chapters:
  1. History of the Republic of South Africa
  2. The South African legal system
  3. General measures of implementation - listed by Article of the Charter, with a large number of references to domestic legislation and case law
  4. Measures taken by South Africa to promote and ensure the respect of human rights through teaching, education and publication in accordance with Article 25 of the Charter
  5. The use of the Charter in international relations
From the Conclusion:

The South African government has delivered three pieces of legislation which underscore the consolidation of our democracy, namely the Promotion of Equality and
Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (Act 4 of 2000); Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act 2 of 2000); and Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000
(Act 3 of 2000). ...
South Africa has sound legislative frameworks and policies, which are the basis for promotion and protection of civil and political rights; social, economic and cultural rights;
and right to development. Of importance, these legislative frameworks and policies seek to improve social and economic conditions of the past disadvantaged groups, namely Blacks, women and disabled persons. These groups have lived and continue to live under conditions of abject poverty, while the majority of Whites are well off.
The South African government is also faced with other challenges, such as the high level of crime, in particular sexual violence crimes against women, children and elderly persons. However, this does not suggest that South Africa is the world capital of crime as perceived by the media. Statistics have shown that there is even a higher level of crime in some developed countries than is the case in South Africa. South Africa has an Integrated Justice System (IJS), which is constantly addressing this scourge. HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are other social ills that are being dealt with despite the limited human and financial resources."


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