Human Rights are essentially a set of agreed principles, which affirm and uphold the dignity of a person. The rights are concerned with fairness, respect and independence and recognize our freedom to make certain life choices and realize our potential as human beings but also understanding that they come with responsibility and consideration for the rights of others. In South Africa, Human Rights Day commemorated on the 21st of March, is historically linked to the Sharpeville Massacre were 69 people were shot dead for protesting the unjust apartheid pass laws. This year, the theme is “The Year of Indigenous Languages: Promoting and Deepening a Human Rights Culture”.
In this episode of Law Focus, we spoke to Constitutional Hill chief executive, Dawn Roberston , to discuss the history of the court, its significance and different activities lined up to commemorate Human Rights Day. We engaged with Sharon Ekambaram, from Lawyers for Human Rights, to ascertain the state of Human Rights in South Africa today. Finally, we touched base with, Gushwell Brooks, the spokesperson for the South African Human Rights Commission, on its rights and responsibilities as a Chapter 9 institution in affirming and promoting human rights.
PHOTO CRED: Jon Tyson