ESTABLISHMENT AND HISTORY
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.
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
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.