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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

OVERVIEW

The South African 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.

ESTABLISHMENT AND HISTORY

The Commission was inaugurated on 02 October 1995 under the Human Rights Commission Act 54 of 1994 and as provided for by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 200 of 1993.

The Constitution is the highest law in the country and it was adopted to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. These rights are listed in the Bill of Rights, in Chapter 2 of the Constitution.

CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE

The mandate of the Commission as contained in Section 184 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996 is as follows:
1. The South African Human Rights Commission must –
a) promote respect for human rights and a culture of human rights;
b) promote the protection, development and attainment of human rights; and
c) monitor and assess the observance of human rights in the Republic.

2. The Commission has the powers, as regulated by the national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power -

a) investigate and report on the observance of human rights;
b) take steps and secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated;
c) carry out research; and
d) educate.

3. Each year, the Commission must require relevant organs of state to provide the Commission with information on the measures that they have taken towards the realisation of the rights in the Bill of Rights concerning housing, healthcare, food, water, social security,education and the environment.

4. The Commission has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation.

About the SAHRC video

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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About us

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.

Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)

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