From the global to the local: The role of international law in the enforcement of socio-economic rights in South Africa

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.

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