South African social policies from a human rights perspective

The apartheid regime of South Africa persistently abstained from ratifying any of the major human rights treaties elaborated under the aegis of the United Nations after 1948. The new South Africa of the 1990s quickly joined the human rights community, yet made one exception. The government signed the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) on 3 October 1993, but did not proceed with the ratification. The project investigates South African social policies from the perspective of the human rights the government has chosen to ignore: What are the standards implied in the rights of the ICESCR, in particular the right to social security (Article 9) and the right to an adequate standard of living (Article 11)? Are South African social policies in line with these standards? The project will concentrate on policies aimed at providing a civic minimum for all covering important basic needs (food, clothing, housing).

Project leader(s):
  • Ulrike Davy (ZiF, Bielefeld)

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