Research Series

Child poverty and children’s rights of access to food and basic nutrition in South Africa: A contextual, jurisprudential and policy analysis
Author: Prof Danwood Mzikenge Chirwa
Published: Jun 02, 2009

Research Report number 7. This research report is written by Prof Danwood Mzikenge Chirwa. Millions of children in South Africa bear the yoke of extreme forms of poverty and its associated evils, such as malnourishment, stunted growth, nutritional-deficiency diseases and illiteracy. The depreciation of the South African rand towards the end of 2008 and the current global financial crisis have only served to entrench child poverty by pushing poor households into deeper levels of deprivation and relegating those who were previously financially stable to the status of the poor.

From the global to the local: The role of international law in the enforcement of socio-economic rights in South Africa
Author: Redson Edward Kapindu
Published: May 02, 2009

Socio-Economic Rights Project Research Series 6, 2009. This research paper by Redson Edward Kapindu explores the vital role of international human rights law and jurisprudence, including the UN and African human rights systems and policy frameworks, in advancing socio-economic rights at the domestic level in South Africa. The paper starts by providing a general overview of the international (including African regional) human rights system and their relevance. The paper proceeds to explore the question of the applicability of international human rights law under the South African Constitution. In this regard, the paper provides an incisive discussion of the domestic application of international socio-economic rights obligations in South Africa, paying special regard to the significance of General Comment 9 of the CESCR and the issue of minimum core obligations. The paper concludes with an exposition of some of the challenges in the application of international law in advancing socio-economic rights in South Africa and provides some recommendations.

Living in security, peace and dignity: The right to have access to housing of women who are victims of gender-based violence
Author: Helene Combrinck
Published: Apr 02, 2009

Socio-Economic Rights Project Research Series 5, 2009. This research paper by Heléne Combrinck examines the nature and extent of state duties to promote the realisation of the right to have access to adequate housing of women who are victims of gender-based violence, with specific reference to domestic violence. The paper first sketches the background to domestic violence and housing in South Africa generally and explains the housing needs of women experiencing domestic violence as well as the link between domestic violence and forced evictions. It then examines constitutional obligations to promote access to housing, with reference to the Grootboom and subsequent judgments. The paper further sets out the legislative and policy framework supporting access to housing in South Africa and examines whether this framework currently makes adequate provision for women who are victims of domestic violence. Though the focus is on South Africa, the paper also looks at the standards and norms that have emerged in international human rights law, with specific reference to the rights to adequate housing, gender equality and freedom from violence. Finally, the paper proposes certain recommendations based on the conclusions reached.

Pertinent social security issues in South Africa
Author: Letlhokwa George Mpedi
Published: Jun 02, 2008

Socio-Economic Rights Project Research Series 4, 2008 This research paper, by Letlhokwa George Mpedi, provides some perspectives on the South African social security system, including the South African Social Security Agency. The paper first analyses the social and political context of poverty in South Africa. It then proceeds with a theoretical discussion of the concepts of social security and comprehensive social protection. This is followed by an exploration of the South African social security framework - the legal, institutional and administrative framework, the scope of social security coverage, and social security adjudication and enforcement. Finally, the paper identifies gaps and challenges within the social security system, assesses the opportunities for developing a comprehensive social security system in South Africa, and provides some recommendations as to how the social security system might be improved. Download the Socio-Economic Rights Project Research Series 4, 2008

You are the “weakest link” in realising socio-economic rights: Goodbye - Strategies for effective implementation of court orders in South Africa
Author: Christopher Mbazira
Published: May 02, 2008

Socio-Economic Rights Project Research Series 3, 2008 This research paper by Christopher Mbazira reviews a number of socio-economic rights judgments and discusses the extent to which the orders granted in those cases have been complied with. It also sketches the courts’ approach to interpreting the substance of socio-economic rights. The paper goes on to suggest the best strategies for implementing court orders in socio-economic rights cases. In other words, saying goodbye to the “weakest link” in socio-economic rights litigation. Download the Socio-Economic Rights Project Research Series 3, 2008

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