South African Human Rights Commission
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 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.
MANDATE The mandate of the Commission as contained in Section 184 of our Constitution 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.
The South African Human Rights Commission has the powers, as regulated by the national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power – a) To investigate and report on the observance of human rights; b) To take steps and secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated; c) To carry out research; and d) To educate.
Each year, the South African Human Rights Commission must require relevant organs of state to provide the Commission with information on the measures that they have taken towards the realization of human rights in the Bill of Rights concerning housing, health care, food, water, social security,education and the environment.
The South African Human Rights Commission has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation.”
VISION Champion for the realisation of Human Rights
MISSION The Commission is established to support constitutional democracy and attainment of the progressive realisation of human rights by: • Monitoring and assessing the observance of human rights; • Education and training on human rights; • Addressing human rights violations and seeking effective redress.
ORGANISATIONAL VALUES The Commission adheres to the following values of ubuntu: a) Dignity; b) Equality; c) Respect; and d) Accountability.
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE The South African Human Rights Commission is made up of Commissioners and a Secretariat. Commissioners provide strategic leadership and direct policy. They are appointed by Parliament on a seven-year term and can be reappointed to an additional term.