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SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION. Presentation on SAHRC Mandate and Role to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services 19 August 2014. Contents. Legislative mandate Vision, mission and values Organisational structure Commissioners’ strategic focus areas
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SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION Presentation on SAHRC Mandate and Role to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services 19 August 2014
Contents • Legislative mandate • Vision, mission and values • Organisational structure • Commissioners’ strategic focus areas • Overview of strategic plan for 2014 to 2017 • Outcomes based programming and key outputs • Collaboration with other Constitutional institutions • Issues for Portfolio Committee attention
Constitutional mandate • The South African Human Rights Commission must: • promote respect for human rights and a culture of human rights; • promote the protection, development and attainment of human rights; and • monitor and assess the observance of human rights in the Republic.
Constitutional mandate 2. The Commission has the powers, as regulated by the national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power: • To investigate and report on the observance of human rights; • To take steps and secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated; • To carry out research; and • To educate.
Constitutional mandate 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, health care, food, water, social security, education and the environment. (Economic and Social Rights Report completed annually in this respect) 4. The Commission has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation.
Legislative mandate: Other legislation • Establishment provided for through the South African Human Rights Commission Act, prescribing composition, powers and functions, including investigation, mediation and conciliation • Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) • Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA): • Chairing of Equality Review Committee • Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA) • In respect of (b) to (d), the Commission has to: • Promote awareness • Monitor compliance and report to Parliament • Develop recommendations
Vision, Mission and Values • Vision: Transforming society. Security rights. Restoring dignity. • Mission: The Commission as the independent national human rights institution is created to support constitutional democracy through promoting, protecting and monitoring the attainment of everyone’s human rights in South Africa without fear, favour or prejudice. • Values: Integrity, honesty, respect, objectivity, Batho Pele principles and equality.
Overview of Strategic Plan 2014 T0 2017 • Previous strategic planning cycle focused on strengthening protective mandate. • Consequent improvements in complaints resolution rates from 79% in 2012/13 to 93% in 2013/14. • 2014-2017 Strategic plan focuses on the promotion and monitoring mandate (rural and peri-urban outreach). • The Plan also increasingly realises the need for outcome-oriented planning, evaluation and reporting. • Revised key strategic outcomes.
Overview of Strategic Plan 2014 T0 2017:Key strategic outcomes • Using and projecting a broader Constitutional and legislative mandate. • Engagement with processes of enacting legislation that promotes Constitutional human rights obligations. • Enhancing understanding of international and regional issues through engagement with stakeholders. • Enforcing protection of rights through alternative dispute resolutions and litigation. • Intensifying advocacy as well as public and community outreach. • Re-clustering strategic focus areas to enhance effectiveness. • Strengthening key stakeholder relationships. • Developing the institution as a learning organisation. • Strengthening capacity that supports delivery on the mandate.
Overview of Strategic Plan 2014 T0 2017:Strategic objectives • Promote compliance with international and regional obligations. • Position the Commission as the focal point for human rights in South Africa. • Enhance and deepen the understanding of human rights and promote a human rights culture. • Advance the realisation of human rights. • Use and project a broader Constitutional and legislative mandate. • Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission to support delivery on the mandate.
Outcomes based programming • Human rights protection and promotion programme • International and regional affairs • Section 5 Committees • High level stakeholder engagements • National hearings • Legal services: approximately 10 000 complaints handled annually • Human rights advocacy and public outreach • Media and communication
Outcomes based programming 2. Research, monitoring and reporting programme • Research: Economic and Social; Equality; Parliamentary; International • Promotion of Access to Information Act • Strategic planning • Performance and impact monitoring, evaluation and reporting 3. Administration programme • Corporate support • Finance • Internal audit
Key outputs • Legal services: Annual Trends Analysis Report; Investigative Reports • Research: Economic and Social Rights Report; Equality Report; International Human Rights Report • Advocacy: Annual Advocacy Report • Promotion of Access to Information Act Report • Strategic Plan • Annual Report and Quarterly Performance Reports
Collaboration with other Constitutional Institutions • Shared mandates: • Office of the Public Protector • Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) • Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) • Independent Electoral Commission • Referral of cases to relevant institutions • Forum for Institutions Supporting Democracy • Complaints management • International obligations • 20 years of Constitutional democracy
Issues for Committee attention • Levels of responsiveness of State institutions to SAHRC information requests. • Implementation of SAHRC recommendations by State Departments. • Ratification, domestication and reporting on international and regional instruments. • Committee support for additional financial resources to SAHRC.
The South African Human Rights Commission www.sahrc.org.za @sahrcommission