SOUTH AFRICA

In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International has made the following recommendations to South Africa

  

HIV/AIDS, poverty, women’s rights and the right to health:

  • To remove discriminatory barriers to access to prevention, treatment and care for HIV;
  • Ensure that all government departments, including the Department of Transport, are involved in developing and implementing plans aimed at reducing physical and cost barriers to access to HIV-related health services in rural areas;
  • To facilitate the collection of data, disaggregated on the basis of gender and other groups identified as facing discrimination, to assist identification of discriminatory factors affecting a person’s ability to access and remain on treatment;
  • To ensure that the work of community-level home-based carers, who assist the most marginalized individuals in rural areas, is recognized and strengthened through training, capacity-building, risk management and linking them to the formal health system;
  • To ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and its Optional Protocol allowing the right of individual petition, and opting into the inquiry mechanism under that Protocol.
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    Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity:

  • To unambiguously denounce crimes of violence targeting members of the LGBT community as a violation of their right to equality and other rights;
  • To ensure sufficient resources to conduct comprehensive public awareness campaigns on homophobia, and on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to equality, non-discrimination and the right to be free from torture and inhumane or degrading treatment;
  • To rapidly develop monitoring capacity and legislation to enhance the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes of violence against individuals on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • To ensure that the police and the prosecution service are adequately trained to investigate and prosecute hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
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    Refugee and migrants’ rights and xenophobia:

  • To fulfil its international, regional and domestic legal obligations to protect the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, including the right without distinction as to national origin to security of the person and to protection by the state against violence or bodily harm from either public or private sources;
  • To ensure, in collaboration with civil society, implementation of legislation, plans and directives which increase the prevention, investigation and prosecution of property destruction and crimes of violence against refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants;
  • To urgently reconsider the plans to close the majority of refugee reception offices which will substantially reduce access to asylum determination in South Africa;
  • To ensure that no actions, direct or indirect, lead to a violation of the principle of non-refoulement, including with respect to Zimbabweans.
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    Torture and extra-judicial executions:

  • To make rapid progress towards bringing a comprehensive ‘criminalization of torture’ bill before Parliament by 2012 and to ensure its implementation once signed into law;
  • To take all necessary steps towards ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment by 2012;
  • To ensure that investigators involved in investigating alleged incidents of torture, extra-judicial executions and related abuses are able to conduct their work without intimidation and receive full co-operation from law enforcement officials;
  • To publicly and unambiguously denounce acts of torture and extra-judicial executions as human rights violations unjustified under any circumstances.
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    Threats and harassment of human rights defenders and infringements of freedom of expression:

  • To ensure that human rights defenders are allowed the space to undertake their non-violent advocacy, campaigning, reporting and investigative work without fear of harassment, threats, raids, arbitrary arrest or criminalization of their activities;
  • To urgently reconsider the Protection of State Information Bill and to take into account the results of wider public consultation on its purpose and content.
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    South Africa: Amnesty International's submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review