Statement by the SAHRC at the plenary session’s adoption of South Africas outcome of the review
Delivered by Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, SAHRC Chairperson at the 21st Session of UN Human Rights Council (10 – 28 September 2012)
Agenda Item 6 – Universal Periodic Review
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the South African Human Rights Commission, a national human rights institution with “A” status accreditation under the Paris Principles.
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We welcome the opportunity to make a statement on this important occasion and commend the South African government’s more active participation in this second cycle of the UPR.
We are pleased that the review highlighted many important matters that need attention and which the Commission is working on.
In line with the recommendations, we will continue our work relating to the prevention and combating of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. We will continue to advocate for the development of a National Action Plan, hate crimes legislation; and programmes that support social coherence and tolerance; including on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Our Commission welcomes recommendations regarding the domestication of the Convention against Torture, the need to criminalise torture through legislation and the ratification and implementation of the Conventions’ Optional Protocol.
We support recommendations that South Africa should ratify outstanding international conventions, in particular, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This will assist in formulating rights based policies and programmes that address poverty and the enjoyment and realization of economic and social rights, such as the right to sanitation and clean drinking water.
Finally, we welcome the many recommendations that seek to address the rights of vulnerable groups in our society, HIV/AIDS, violence against women and children, the compliance of legislation with international human rights obligations and the establishment of an article 33 independent monitoring mechanism under the CRPD.